By Maria Lopez Conde, Senior Contributing Reporter
SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL – Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff created a committee yesterday to monitor abusive price hikes of hotel rates and flight tickets offered to both national and international fans during the FIFA World Cup soccer (football) tournament that Brazil will host in June and July 2014.
The group will be tasked with supervising prices at hotels, restaurants, airports and of other tourist services that are expected to be in high demand during the World Cup in Brazil’s twelve host cities.
The committee will be made up of members from the ministries in charge of organizing the international tournament, including the Ministry of Sports, Justice, Tourism, Finance, Health, as well as the Secretariat of Civil Aviation (SAC). The Casa Civil – President Rousseff’s chief of staff’s office – will be in charge of supervising the group’s meetings and its activities.
“We do not and we will not set prices, but we will not allow abuses. We’re going to utilize all the tools at the government’s disposal to guarantee the defense of consumers’ rights, be it foreigners or Brazilians,” said Gleisi Hoffman, Rousseff’s chief of staff, in a press release yesterday.
Price increases for services that will be highly sought-after during the World Cup have already made headlines. Folha de São Paulo newspaper reported earlier this week that prices for flights between host cities Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, a trip that usually costs an average of R$250, will be up to ten times more expensive during the tournament. On TAM, Brazil’s largest airline by fleet size, passengers can expect to pay up to R$2,393, while a flight on Gol will set travelers back R$1,673. That is as expensive as traveling from Brazil to New York city.
A survey of hotels in the city of Rio de Janeiro found that room rates during the World Cup have already risen by up to 600 percent. Fans planning to stay in the Cidade Maravilhosa during the tournament will pay on average R$991 per night. In Fortaleza, another host city, the price of a hotel room during the games has increased by 366 percent.
Read more (in Portuguese).
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