No hotel inventory shortage for 2016 Olympics, Brazil hotels chief says

RIO DE JANEIRO Given that about 9,000 new guestrooms have been announced in the year since Rio de Janeiro was announced as host of the 2016 Summer Olympics, the city should have no trouble reaching its hotel inventory targets, the president of the Brazilian Association of Hotels says.

Brito Alvaro Bezerra de Mello says Rio is on pace to deliver 40,000 guestrooms in time for the 2014 FIFA World Cup and 50,000 guestrooms for the 2016 Olympics.

“I have no doubt that we will surpass those goals,” he says, according to newspaper O Globo. “What still worries me for the games, really, are the airports. We are far from having terminals with the quality of the First World.”

Bezerra de Mello says the city will not need to employ cruise ships as temporary hotels, as some previous Olympic hosts have done.

Rio is expected to double the number of tourism workers by 2016, to about 200,000.

Alexandre Sampaio, president of the Brazilian Federation of Housing and Food, says the city needs to think about ways to make the influx of hotel inventory sustainable over the longterm. “Rio needs a big event for other months,” Sampaio says. “We have Carnival and New Year’s Eve, but there are few events in July, for example. The ideal is to create something cultural, like theater or music.”