Worried with Brazil’s Image Government Steps In to Prevent Gouging at Rio +20

    Copacabana Hotel

    Copacabana Hotel The Brazilian government stepped in and negotiated a reduction of at least 20% in hotel prices during the Rio +20 United Nations Sustainable Development Conference that will take place between June 15 and 23 in Rio de Janeiro.

    According to the president of the Brazilian Institute of Tourism (Embratur), Flávio Dino, the reduction could be more, “…We have hopes that the reduction will be more than 20%, maybe as much as 30%,” he declared.

    The government stepped up after it was announced that a delegation from the European Parliament had decided to cancel its participation due to “exorbitant hotel prices in Rio de Janeiro.”

    That prompted the president of the Chamber of Deputies, Marco Maia to take action: he announced that Congress would not foot the bill for members who attended the conference because of the high prices.

    “What we have are isolated cancellations. There is not a generalized movement because of prices. The government acted in a timely and correct manner to deal with a situation that could seriously stain the country’s image,” declared Dino.

    In fact, the government came down hard on the Rio hotel segment. It was made clear to representatives of the hotels that their presence was mandatory at a meeting in Brasilia. The representatives found themselves facing heavy artillery: across the negotiating table were the president’s Chief of Staff, Gleisi Hoffmann; the ministers of Foreign Relations, Antonio Patriota; and Justice, José Eduardo Cardozo; and the government’s top lawyer, Luís Inácio Adams. The meeting at the Palácio do Planalto lasted more than three hours.

    It was agreed that the price reduction would be retroactive, that is, applied to reservations already contracted for the conference. And there would no longer be a minimum occupancy of seven days that many hotels were demanding.

    Dino, of Embratur, explained that the government was not imposing a price list or revoking the law of supply and demand.

     “We just convinced them to charge prices more compatible with the event,” the president of Embratur said. “Now, if, after this agreement, we get more information about price abuses, we will take further action. For example, the Ministry of Justice will go into action.”

    Meanwhile, the minister of Environment, Izabella Teixeira, denied that the cancellation by an official delegation from the European Parliament because of hotel prices meant that the Rio+20 Conference was in any way threatened.

    “There are other people from the European Union who will participate. We have confirmations. There is no rush to get out,” said the minister.

    Ambassador André Correa do Lago, the diplomat who is Brazil’s chief negotiator for the Rio +20 Sustainable Development Conference declared that some of the cancellations were due to the economic situation in various European countries and did not reflect on the importance of Rio +20.

    “It is generally recognized that this event is of major importance. That is why we have confirmations of the participation of over 100 heads of state and government. What happens is that countries have their own problems, elections, crises and other circumstances. All this is normal. We understand that each country has to decide whether or not to attend Rio +20, and if so, at which level; that is, sending the leader of the nation or representatives,” explained Correa do Lago.

    The Foreign Affairs Commission of the Senate approved a request by senator Luiz Henrique demanding that the mayor of Rio de Janeiro, Eduardo Paes, take measures to deal with Rio hotels’ high prices.

    The minister of Foreign Relations, Antonio Patriota, who participated in hearings at the commission said he supported the action. “We are in fact concerned about this. We want as many participants as possible at the conference,” he declared.

    Conference organizers expect over 100 heads of state and government to attend Rio +20 between June 20 and 22. Representatives and ministers of governments will begin negotiations on June 15.

    ABr

    Tags:

    • Show Comments (2)

    • capnamerca

      And just wait . . . .
      Until time for the World Cup and no one comes because of the gouging . . the world is in an economic crisis and Brazilian businessmen go about their business as usual . . . It’s going to cost them ! ! !

    • Charleston Abreu

      TOO MUCH AMBITION
      What I have seen in Rio´s hotels wanting to take advantage of Rio+20 event in town in that most hotel owners are simply exercising their “old traditional brazilian way of life”. That´s all.Shame.

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    comment *

    • name *

    • email *

    • website *

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

    Ads

    You May Also Like

    Autopsy Confirms: Death of Brazilian General in Haiti Was Suicide

    Brazil’s Vice President and Minister of Defense, José Alencar, submitted to the United Nations ...

    Brazil Expecting Half-Percentage Cut in Key Interest Rate

    The Brazilian Central Bank’s Monetary Policy Council (Copom) begins its first meeting of 2006 ...

    Unesco to Help Brazil’s Semi-Arid Areas

    The director general of Unesco, Koichiro Matsuura, and the Unesco representative in Brazil, Jorge ...

    Brazil Becomes UN Center for Alcohol and Other Drugs Treatment

    Initiatives by Brazil and Egypt will be recognized, in the second half of the ...

    Inventors from Brazil Win International Eco Competition

    A company that uses technology in the production of sustainable oils, another that organically ...

    Spain’s Repsol-YPF Joins Petrobras to Explore Offshore Oil in Brazil

    Spain’s Repsol-YPF and Petrobras have jointly begun offshore production in Brazil with the country’s ...

    LETTERS

    Pleasure Principle By Brazzil Magazine The article by Kathleen de Azevedo in your January ...

    Petrobras offshore rig

    Brazil Starts 4-Mile-Deep Extraction of Oil in the Ocean

    Petrobras, Brazil's state-controlled oil and gas multinational, will extract its first crude oil from ...

    Brazilian Congress in Brasília

    Ali Baba and His Forty Thieves Are Alive and Well in Brazil These Days

    Though officially Brazil abides by the Gregorian calendar, New Year kicks in for most ...