INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS

Brazil hotel sector builds itself up for the World Cup

 
 
View of PortMiami from a gantry crane perched high above the port.
Oct. 7, 2013
View of PortMiami from a gantry crane perched high above the port. Oct. 7, 2013
CARL JUSTE / Miami Herald Staff

mwhitefield@MiamiHerald.com

With millions of fans following around the teams that will play in next summer’s FIFA World Cup in Brazil, lodging will be a challenge.

The soccer matches will be played in 12 cities, and to accommodate the travelers, Brazil is on a hotel-building spree.

The government said it expects 173,000 new hotel rooms will be ready for the Cup, which will be held June 12 - July 13. Host city Belo Horizonte is expecting a 48 percent increase in hotel rooms. The other two host cities that will see the largest percent increase in accommodations are Fortaleza, where the stock of hotel rooms is expected to increase by 38 percent, and Recife, up 28 percent.

An estimated 600,000 foreign visitors and 3 million Brazilians are expected to be circulating around the country during the World Cup, which will generate an estimated 25 billion reais ($11.48 billion) during the 30 days of the event. The federal government is spending more or less an equal amount on building and modernizing stadiums, airports and roads and improving infrastructure, according to Flávio Dino, president of Embratur, the Brazilian tourism board.

Private investment in the hospitality sector is expected to total 10 billion reais ($4.51 billion) through 2017.

More than 28,000 hotels are expected to be available for the World Cup. But only a fraction of them will be used for the 2016 Olympics, which will be centered in and around Rio de Janeiro.

While new hotels are being built in Rio, Maria Silvia Bastos Marques, president of the Municipal Olympic Authority, said hotel rooms will be supplemented by the use of six or seven cruise ships with enough space for around 10,000 guests during the Olympics.

UPCOMING EVENTS

As autumn arrives in South Florida, business conference, forum and seminar season rolls around.

There are plenty of events this week for those interested in exploring international markets.

The Americas Society/Council of the Americas gets things rolling on Tuesday with a forum on Financial Inclusion in Latin America. It will examine how to provide financial service to Latin America’s growing middleclass and the poor. Registration for that event is closed.

Former Brazilian President Fernando Enrique Cardoso, Arianna Huffington, editor-in-chief of the Huffington Post Media Group; astronaut Buzz Aldrin, primate expert Jane Goodall, Larry Summers, Harvard professor and former assistant to President Barack Obama for Economic Policy, and other luminaries are expected in town for the abc Continuity Forum on Wednesday and Thursday.

The elite from business, media and politics meet with social entrepreneurs from the Americas who will be pitching ideas from fighting poverty to sustainability and food security. Three will be selected for financial assistance and other support from the American Business Council Foundation (abc), an organization that pairs innovators with the resources they need to make their programs sustainable.

The event will be held at the New World Center, main performance hall, 500 17th St., Miami Beach.

Price for a two-day pass is $750; a one-day pass costs $500. Student and nonprofit rates are available. For more information: www.abccontinuityforum. com/

On Thursday, the Florida Venture Forum and Nair & Co., a British company that provides international business services, present a program called “ From Garage to Global: The Right Way to Expand Internationally.” The event, which will be held at the downtown Miami office of Greenberg Traurig, will focus on how to gain a foothold in emerging markets in China, India and Latin America.

The event will be held from 5:30-8 p.m. Cost is $45 for Florida Venture Forum members; $60, for non-members. For more information: 813-335-8116.

HAVANA TRADE FAIR

This week the Havana International Fair is being held at the capital city’s ExpoCuba venue. Now in its 31st year, the event, which runs from Sunday to Saturday, is expected to attract 4,500 companies from Cuba and 64 other countries, making it the largest commercial fair in Cuban history.

The main products on display during this fair fall into these categories: raw materials, food, textiles, consumer goods, machinery and technology and services. Cuba will be touting its health and biotechnology industries and will offer an update on its renovation of the Port of Mariel during the fair.

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