Brazil’s Justice Ministry has called on the country’s main hotel chains to explain the high room rates for the period during the staging of the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
The Associated Press reports the request comes following several complaints from consumer groups and a study by the country’s tourism board, Embratur, which showed high prices will be charged during the tournament. Accor, Choice, Louvre, Blue Tree, Nacional Inn, Wyndham, IHG and Bourbon are among the companies notified, along with the Brazilian Association of the Hotel Industry.
“Tourists are consumers which require special protection because they are outside of their city or country,” said Amaury Oliva, director of the ministry’s consumer rights secretariat. “We are working to make sure that they are well received and that the services we provide have quality and fair price.”
The hotel chains are being asked to provide the average rates charged in the past during other high-demand events in the 12 World Cup host cities, so they can be compared to the prices for the tournament. Embratur has stated that rates will rise by up to 500% in some hotels offered by FIFA-appointed agency MATCH Services, leading to a call for government action from several consumer rights groups. Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff last month created a committee to monitor abusive price hikes of hotel rates and plane tickets during the World Cup.