The Brazilian government has created a committee to monitor abusive price hikes from hotels and airlines during the World Cup next year, according to NBC News. The committee consists of different ministries that were created by President Dilma Rousseff of Brazil on Thursday.
The creation of the committee follows complaints from consumer advocates and reports of extreme price hikes in the tourism industry surrounding the month of the World Cup.
Some hotels are raising their rates up to 500 percent during the World Cup, according to a study by Brazil's tourism board.
Plane tickets are another concern, with nearly 600,000 foreigners expected to arrive in Brazil for the sports event.
"We don't set prices and we won't set prices, but we won't allow abuses," Gleisi Hoffman, the chief of staff for Roussef, said to NBC News. "We will use all of our available instruments to defend the rights of consumers, whether they are Brazilian consumers or international consumers."
Aldo Rebelo, the Brazil sports minister, has pledged "zero tolerance" for hotels that practice abusive price hiking during the sports event. The concern is that the price gouging would hurt Brazil's image, potentially scaring tourists away.
Earlier this year, the Brazilian tourism board, called Embratur, officially told FIFA, the official organization of soccer, and hotel operators to negotiate lowering their prices during the World Cup. The group also notified the justice ministry that they were the department responsible for handling consumer rights issues.
"This measure by President Dilma and Minister Gleisi is essential to safeguard the image of Brazilian tourism abroad," Flavio Dino, the president of Embratur, said. "Our monitoring of the international media shows that we can't allow this image that the Brazilian government will not act against abuses."
The government is also requesting Brazil's antitrust agency to conduct a detailed analysis of the country's hotel and air travel markets that could potentially prevent fair competition.
This article is copyrighted by Travelers Today, the travel news leader