By Ségolène Poirier, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Less than a month before the opening of the official Rio+20, hotel rates for the UN Conference on Sustainable Development will be reduced from 25 percent to sixty percent, according to the Brazilian government. The high prices have been heavily criticized by members of the European Parliament and were called “exorbitant” by Rio’s mayor Eduardo Paes.
Last Wednesday, a meeting was held between the conference’s official tourism agency Terramar, the hotels associations and the federal government.
The result ended the minimum reservation requirement (seven or eleven days) and of the 25 percent administration daily fee which will lower the prices significantly.
It was decided that the delegations that already paid for their reservations will get back the agency fee and the rates for the days in which the room will not be used.
Flávio Dino president of Embratur, Brazilian government tourism organization, wanted to insist on the fairness of this agreement. “There is no way a few people profit from these megaevents. The supply and demand model is not unconditional when it leads to abusive practices.”
Rio Hotels Association (ABIH-RJ) president Alfredo Lopes complained about this decision. “In the end, the hotels will lose, because a load of reservations were canceled and they will need to be renegotiated in a hurry.”
With this new agreement, officials and organizers are hoping whoever wants to attend the conference for only a few days will not be discouraged by inflated prices. Terramar also started to release up to 3,800 hotel vacancies whose reservations were not confirmed from June 13th to 19th.
Read more (in Portuguese).
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