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World Cup 2014: Tourists In Brazil, Get Ready For A Price Shock

05/06/2014 19:39 BST | Updated 05/06/2014 19:59 BST
ASSOCIATED PRESS
World Cup items are on display for sale at a kiosk as residents and tourists watch a screen showing a friendly soccer match between Brazil and Panama along Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Tuesday, June 3, 2014. The international soccer tournament is set to begin in just a few weeks, with Brazil and Croatia playing in the opening match on June 12. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)

Welcome to Brazil, the land of soccer, sun and outrageously sky-high prices.

Prices for consumer goods in the new home of the World Cup have traditionally been high, but now the whole world has come to town and Brazil is going to try and reap in the benefits.

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Prices – as compiled by the Associated Press – are slightly mind-boggling, depending on your budget, of course.

Hotel rates in many of the host cities have more than doubled ahead of the extravaganza.

TripAdvisor has reported that visitors to Rio will face the highest prices, with hotel rates averaging £264 per night.

Want to eat, perhaps a £10 cheeseburger or the £20 pepperoni pizza? Drink? Up that price to £406 each day.

"The Cup prices are ridiculous. Everything shot up. The only thing you can buy in Brazil is a bikini, a cachaca (Brazilian sugar cane liquor) and a pair of Havaianas (sandals)," said Gillian Santos, a Brazilian who now lives in Belgium and was back in Rio on a recent visit.

"How do people afford things around here? As a Brazilian living abroad, I think it's outrageous."

The dizzying prices are referred to in Brazil as the "Custo Brasil," or "Brazil Cost" - the mixture of high taxes and steep import tariffs, combined with bad infrastructure, a dose of inefficiency and a thick shot of bureaucracy, AP reports.

Tourists should prepare to dig deep into their wallets and not be too miffed to receive goods or services of inferior quality, said Rafael Alcadipani, a business administration professor at the Getulio Vargas Foundation, Brazil's top think tank.

"Anything you buy in Brazil will be more expensive than in the United States or Europe, but the quality is going to be worse," Alcadipani said.

The extravagant prices are sure to heighten tensions at a time when Brazil is already discontent with corruption, greed and injustice.

The country has been no stranger to anti-World Cup demonstrations, from Brasilia, to Sao Paolo and Rio de Janeiro, from activists angry at the multi-billion cost of staging the tournament in a country where the poorest 34% receive less than 1.2% of the nation's income.

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