International Briefs

By Amy Tennery | November 25, 2009 10:26AM

From the November New York issue: With Rio de Janeiro selected as the host city for the 2016 Olympic Games, the race is on to see which hotelier will undertake the bulk of the development projects needed to accommodate the influx of visitors. A Bloomberg report says that Rio de Janeiro needs to more than double its current number of hotel rooms before the games start, up to 48,000 from 22,000. Marriott International and Starwood Hotels & Resorts are thought to be early competitors for the job. The expansion effort could allow these international chains to make their mark in the region, according to Gregory Rumpel, an executive vice president at Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels. By his estimation, just 12 percent of hotels in Brazil are foreign-owned. Of particular concern in the coming months will be the need to ramp up the number of three- to five-star hotels in Rio de Janeiro. According to a March 2008 Olympiad Working Report on the 2016 games, the benchmark for accommodations during the summer games is a hotel density of at least 40,000 three- to five-star rooms. According to the report, Rio planned to address its shortage of upscale rooms by using cruise ships and condominiums. Of course, the report acknowledged, “the use of cruise ships … generally causes logistic and cost issues.”