With just one year to go until the Brazil World Cup kicks off on 12 June 2014, anticipation is already building in the UK, according to Hotels.com. Searches for hotels in São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro have risen by 32 per cent and 36 per cent respectively during the first part of this year, despite hotel prices in the two cities being among the highest in the world.
Buoyed by a strong economy and growing interest from tourists worldwide, hotel prices in the country are climbing fast. Last year, average rates grew by eight per cent to £151 on 2011, according to the latest Hotels.com Hotel Price Index. Prices in São Paulo grew by six per cent to £135, while Rio de Janeiro rose by 13 per cent to an average of £177 per night.
Following in the footsteps of Michael Palin, who travelled across the country while filming ‘Brazil’ for the BBC last year, Brits are increasingly looking beyond the country’s traditional tourist destinations. All of the country’s World Cup venue cities have seen double or triple digit rises this year in the volume of searches at Hotels.com. Salvador has topped the list with searches soaring by 126 per cent, while Fortaleza has seen interest grow by 108 per cent and Curitiba has seen searches rise by 82 per cent.
Recent figures released by the Brazilian Ministry of Tourism confirm that interest in the country is growing, with 155,548 Brits making the journey last year – an increase of four per cent on 2011. Overall, the country attracted 5.4 million visitors in 2012 – a 4.5 per cent rise on the previous year.
With demand set to grow higher still in the years ahead, as the country hosts the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympic Games, thousands of hotels rooms are being added to meet demand. Lodging Econometrics reports that 57 hotels will open in Brazil in 2013, adding 8,927 rooms, and another 108 hotels are due to open next year adding a further 18,837 rooms. However, with some work falling behind schedule, there are concerns that there may be a shortage of hotels when the country is besieged by sporting fans in 2014 and again in 2016 when Rio hosts the Olympic Games.
“It’s great to see interest is building in Brazil ahead of next year’s World Cup,” commented Alison Couper at Hotels.com. “While Michael Palin has been an inspiration for many, the country’s booming economy has been a big draw for business travellers. As the country gears up for the World Cup, we’re expecting demand to continue to grow. However, with a countrywide programme of hotel building in progress, increased supply should mean that prices stay steady, giving football fans a reason to celebrate even if their team doesn’t win the cup.”
Fly to Brazil with TAP Portugal from Heathrow, Gatwick and Manchester via Lisbon with convenient connections to Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo, Brasilia, Natal, Porto Alegre, Racife, Salvador, Belo Horizonte and Fortaleza. Take a look at our latest Guide “Brazil come ce4lebrate life” published in assositaion with TAP Portugal