Business / Industries

Travelers flock to Rio as flights and hotels see price hikes

By Cai Muyuan ( Updated: 2016-08-03 15:23

Travelers flock to Rio as flights and hotels see price hikes

A woman takes photo of the sunrise as a sand sculpture stands along the promenade on Copacabana beach, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Aug 1, 2016. [Photo/IC]

Olympic fever is pushing up the cost of travel to South America as a one-week travel package to South America increased to about 60,000 yuan, compared to an average normal price range of 30,000 to 40,000, China Business News reported today, citing a Chinese travel agency.

According to several Chinese travel agencies, the number of tourists to South America in August is up 30 to 40 percent, year on year.

Round-trip airline tickets to Brazil from major cities in China grew to 35,000 yuan from 25,000 yuan, due to the heavy traffic and lack of flights.

Statistics from Mafengwo, a Chinese social travel service, showed that some five-star hotels in the center of Rio have long been booked out, while prices at four-star hotels surged.

In Rio's ZonaSul area and beach area, where luxury hotels cluster, prices range from $120 to $800 per night; the price of economy hotels ranges from $50 to $100 per night - however, the supply is scarce.

According to Zheng Hanqing, who is in charge of South American travel at travel agency Tuniu Corp, some travel packages amounted to more than 100,000 yuan.

"Olympic tourism usually includes tickets to the games, and the prices vary," he said. "Some of our customers want to see both the opening and closing ceremonies, plus three games. The price for those alone is more than 30,000 yuan."

"If you add flights, accommodations and dining, the package can be more than 100,000 yuan," Zheng said.

China's sports tourism is growing as the attention on this market expands. Olympic Games, the World Cup and NBA are among the top choices for Chinese tourists.

As Olympics travel is all about seeing the games, the ability to get tickets decides directly if an agency will profit. "We cooperate with big, local travel agencies who have great resources to get tickets," Zheng said.

"As a new industry, sports tourism at the moment offers basic products that combine game-watching and sightseeing," said a person in charge with International Ltd, a leading online travel agency in China.

"However, some in-depth products are emerging, which allow visitors to watch athletes training and visit locker rooms and honors room. It's the trend for sports tourism in the future," the official said.

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