Andrew J. Wein - Jun 7, 2014
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The FIFA world cup is just days away in Rio; the teams are getting ready with their warm-up games, the fans will soon be arriving for their football-themed holidays, the country's hoteliers are ready to welcome them and the Brazilian tourism industry is looking forward to the massive boom that will come from this swarm of international supporters, many of who seem to be willing to pay extreme prices to follow their team.

Record highs are expected with attendance at this World Cup, there are room rates to match and online bookings are playing an important role.

There is a significant influx of international travellers expected to descend on Brazil for the tournament and, in many ways, it looks as though it is going to surpass Johannesburg in terms of popularity and revenue produced. The average hotel price in Rio for June and July is $461 – double that of Johannesburg during last tournament – and more fans are coming to spent the night in these establishments and other, well-prepared businesses across the country. 5.7 million tourists arrived in Brazil in 2012 but 10.2 million are expected in 2014 and arrivals are expected to be 3% higher for Rio 2014 than at other recent tournaments. Because of these expected arrivals, a lot of hotel rooms are required and there is an estimated 28,000+ hotels in use during the tournament which means an increase in availability of 28% in Recife, 38% in Fortaleza and 43% in Belo Horizonte.

These predictions and known figures have a lot to do with the effect of internet research and booking, something that has really taken off with this tournament. This vast number of hotels means plenty of rooms and 173,000 have been available to book online. Furthermore, football fans around the globe have been researching and booking their trips and accommodation long in advance. Surveys show that 29.1% of hotel search were by British fan, 21.9% by Germans and 14.2% by Americans, with Sweden, Finland, Australia and Canada significantly involved as well.

Essentially, this tournament means two months for the Brazilian tourism industry to profit from loyal fans.

Brazilian hoteliers and agencies are putting all their eggs in one basket, going all out for June and July with high rates to take advantage of the football tourists, but the results for the rest of the year expected to fall by the wayside in comparison. However, when $25 billion is expected to be spent and such high numbers of tourists are coming in and paying above average rates for the summer – up to 500% higher in some places – it is understandable if hoteliers and local agencies aren't too worried and are simply looking forward to the vast revenue that the tournament will surely bring.

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