Published : 2014-01-03 20:00
Updated : 2014-01-03 20:00
SAO PAULO (AP) ― Hotel rooms are expected to cost almost 50 percent more in Rio de Janeiro during the upcoming World Cup soccer tournament than when the city will host the 2016 Olympics, in part because organizer FIFA’s official accommodations agency hasn’t set maximum room rates like those promised in Rio’s winning bid for the Olympic Games.
FIFA is working with the Swiss company MATCH Services as the official accommodations agency for the World Cup. MATCH signed contracts with the vast majority of hotels in Rio and other cities that will host matches, and offers rooms via FIFA’s website at high rates that have prompted an ongoing investigation by the Brazilian government into possible cartel-like practices.
Industry studies, documents from Rio’s Olympic organizing committee and an Associated Press review of hotel prices offered by MATCH all show the discrepancy between housing costs for the two big sporting events.
The cost difference between the two big events is in large part a result of the local Olympic organizing committee capping hotel prices. But analysts say it’s also the simple economics of supply and demand: More fans are expected during the World Cup than the Olympics, and more hotel rooms will be available during the 2016 games because of ongoing construction of facilities.