Even a short trip to Brazil can cost up to Rs. 3 lakh per person

Every football fan’s heart is in Brazil right now. Everyone wants to be in the South American nation to witness the FIFA World Cup 2014. However, considering the enormous cost of travel and stay, alternative locations in India are finding favour with the enthusiasts.

Travel site TripAdvisor carried out a cost-comparison survey, ‘TripIndex Soccer’, of the amount travellers headed to Brazil will spend. It examined the average daily cost that fans will likely incur in each of the 12 host cities in the group stage, including the price of a ticket to a match, a one-night hotel stay, taxi rides to and from the match venue, dinner and a snack. Fans planning to attend first round matches in Cuiabá (Rs. 25,924.29) or Sao Paulo (Rs. 27,094.25) will find the best value for money (calculated as per exchange rate on May 27). For fans following Team Brazil, Brasilia is the cheapest option (Rs. 30,636.19).

Larger budget

The survey reveals that fans will need a larger budget if they are planning to attend a game at the Maracanã stadium in Rio de Janeiro, which is the most expensive city with costs up to Rs. 39,238.20. Fortaleza (Rs. 34,517.29) and Manaus (Rs. 31,674.35) complete the list of the three most expensive cities. Spending on accommodation represented the largest share in total costs, reaching 66 per cent, the survey revealed. The average daily room rate during the group stage matches went up to Rs. 26,299.52. Accommodation is the main factor that made Rio de Janeiro the most expensive place to visit during the competition.

Shibani Phadkar, Senior Vice-President, Products and Operations, Leisure Travel (Outbound), Thomas Cook (India) Ltd, said, “Sports tourism, once a niche segment, is witnessing impactful growth in the Indian context, which is no longer restricted to cricket.

With Brazil playing host to FIFA 2014, football aficionados from India have shown a strong interest to be present there and explore the diversity of Brazil and South America. Bookings to Brazil commenced as early as June/July 2013 and we have seen a 20 per cent increase in queries.”

The alternative

But, fans of the ‘beautiful game’, who are unable to bear the expenditure of travelling to Brazil, are making a beeline to football crazy destinations within India. Rajesh S. and his friends will head to Goa on July 3 for four days.

Their stay has been timed to coincide with the quarter-finals. “The original plan was to go to Brazil. But, when we did the calculations on the time and money required, we realised that it is not going to work out. Everything is pretty expensive. The best alternative is Goa where giant screens will be put up near the beach,” he said. Mr. Rajesh said the flight and stay in Goa works out to Rs. 10,000 per head while the same for Brazil would have cost Rs. 3 lakh.

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