Pablo Andres investigates the prohibitive travel and accommodation costs in Rio this summer.
FIFA promised back in July 2013 that match tickets for the World Cup would be the lowest price ever. So with this in mind, many of us thought of finally being able to attend a World Cup match. But just STOP a second and start looking for plane tickets and hotels online. See the prices, now ask yourself, why the prices are almost 1000% higher than at other times?
Yes, I have been a football fanatic ever since I can remember, and yes, one of my dreams is to attend a World Cup event. So I started to search hotels and flight tickets and found one flight from Rio de Janeiro to São Paulo, a 40-minute fly, which cost $800USD round trip.
I mean, that is what it normally costs me to travel from Mexico to Ecuador on a 4-hour flight during high season. So the next thing I did was to close my laptop and walk away.
But why are prices so high?
One of the replies I got from several travel agencies that I contacted was that the demand was very high. Prices in Brazil are ‘free’ so the government has no power to control them unless the price increase goes extremely high, so it is a matter of demand. If people are able and willing to pay those prices and hotels continue receiving reservations, of course the prices will rise even more.
However, you will be able to find the option of staying out of the city which is a lot cheaper, or going to a hostel. I found that you can get an average room for $93USD (their normal prices are on the $15USD mark) per night. Yes, it is still high but is more reasonable than paying $500USD plus per night.
EMBRATUR (Tourism Institute of Brazil) denounces that FIFA is monopolizing the hotel industry and causing a price increase. EMBRATUR claims that FIFA has signed agreements with 3 to 5-starred hotels to host FIFA employees, national teams and sponsors. So we can say that it is FIFA who will decide the prices and, like the Secretary of Consumer Protection in Brazil stated,
It seems that Brazil did not sell the World Cup, they have sold their soul
Several hotels are to charge 25% more than their normal prices during the event. So yes, we have to admit that prices are high, that this event has (so far) brought division in the country, that it looks more of a problem than a solution. But seeing the big picture we can generally say that Brazil is going to profit a lot from it, and we all hope that this profits will go to the right places.
So true or not true, fair or not fair, at the end we cannot do anything to make this change. Hence, if you got the money, go for it, but if you don’t, you always have the option of using the Internet or TV to watch the event.
At the end of the day, the important thing is to support your country and to enjoy it.
Be in peace!