Natalie Paris, The Daily Telegraph, January 17, 2014
Hoteliers in Rio de Janeiro have agreed not to charge "stratospheric" prices for rooms during the forthcoming World Cup.
The limit comes as part of a drive to ensure football fans travelling to the championship are not ripped off. Two of Brazil’s airlines have also agreed to cap the price of domestic flights between venues at £260.
Hotels in Rio have pledged not to charge more during the World Cup than they do at New Year and it is hoped that the agreement will be rolled out in all 12 Cup venues.
"Brazil is investing for the next 50 years - not just a month," said Juliana Pereira, of consumer affairs monitor Senacon. "We must guarantee consumer rights are respected."
Embratur, Brazil’s tourist board, had raised serious concerns of overpricing by hoteliers.
Roughly 75 per cent of hotels in game venues have signed up to the Fifa-approved Match accommodation service, which tends to demand long-stay bookings.
Embratur has no control over the prices and research by Telegraph Travel last year found rooms were on offer during the competition at a mark up of up to 300 per cent .
Pereira said Brazil could not allow its image to be harmed by unscrupulous operators. "The World Cup is an opportunity to raise the image of the country beyond its borders," she explained.
"We understand that high season rates should be the top price charged for the World Cup and that prices above that could be regarded as abusive. We shall crack down should we find abuses."
A Trivago investigation last week revealed that the cheapest hotel deal it could find for any game was 468 reais (£122), for the June 19 match between Japan and Greece in the northern city of Natal.
New Year prices in downtown hotels are sometimes much higher.
As well as not wanting fans being put off by expensive room rates, Embratur may also be concerned that Rio could suffer from the same post-event tourism slump that London did, largely due to inflated hotel prices, following last summer’s Olympics.
Rates at some hotels in London were found to be up to 10 times higher than they were a year before the Olympics began, although they did fall as the Games approached.
Aviation authorities have agreed to a request from airlines to authorize an extra 1,973 domestic flights between June 6 and July 20 to cope with increased demand.
Around 600,000 foreign and 3m native football fans are expected to attend the event.