Brazil acts on 'abusive' World Cup prices
17 January 2014, 14:35
Rio de Janeiro - Brazilian consumer activists on Thursday accused hotels and airlines of hiking prices to rip off fans planning to travel to this year's football World Cup.
Sky-high costs have become such a concern in the run-up to the event that the government set up a commission headed by the presidential chief of staff to keep prices in check.
After talks with consumer groups, the Rio branch of Brazil's hoteliers' association agreed to make hotels charge same princes during the World Cup as they do at New Year and next month's Rio carnival.
"Brazil is investing for the next 50 years - not just a month," said Juliana Pereira of consumer affairs monitor Senacon, arguing that lasting tourist infrastructure will help Brazil more than price gouging.
"We must guarantee consumer rights are respected," added Pereira, noting there was a widespread perception at home and abroad that Brazil is an overpriced country.
Airlines reacted to government pressure by setting price ceilings - though the maximum of $1 000 for a domestic return or $450 for a single compares unfavorably with fares in many other countries.
The government has so far resisted allowing foreign airlines to operate domestic routes during the June 12 to July 13 tournament.
Aviation authorities are studying requests by Brazilian carriers to increase supply by 1 500 flights for the event.