Brazil President Dilma Rousseff Creates Committee To Monitor World Cup Price Gouging
Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff has "set up a committee to monitor prices and service quality" ahead of the 2014 World Cup amid concerns that visitors "may encounter astronomical markups on lodging and transportation," according to Tariq Panja of BLOOMBERG. Brazil Chief of Staff Gleisi Hoffmann said, "We will not allow abuses. We will use all the instruments available to the state to ensure the protection of consumer rights, whether Brazilian or foreign.” The monitoring group "will include officials from" the ministries of sports, justice, tourism, health, finance, the civil aviation Secretariat and Brazil tourism board Embratur. Embratur President Flavio Dino said the measure “is essential to ensure a good international image for Brazilian tourism.” Dino: “The monitoring we do of the international media shows that we cannot have a situation that presents a picture of Brazil’s government as one that doesn’t act in the face of abuse.” The task force "will study prices and services in hotels, restaurants, airports and other tourist locations in host cities" (BLOOMBERG, 10/17). REUTERS' Andrew Downie reported Interior Minister Jose Eduardo Cardozo "did not say what action the government might take and his colleagues admitted they will not set prices." The move comes just a week after a Brazilian newspaper reported that "during the World Cup some airlines were charging more than" $1,000 for the 50-minute flight between the country's two biggest cities, Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. The government's own tourist agency said hotel prices in Rio de Janeiro, where the World Cup final will take place on July 13, "would be more than twice that of Johannesburg, host city of the 2010 final" (REUTERS, 10/17).