19 Jul 2011

IRB warns against Rugby World Cup price gouging

7:06 pm on 19 July 2011

The head of the International Rugby Board (IRB) says accommodation providers who are charging high prices during the Rugby World Cup could sully New Zealand's reputation and deter tourists from returning.

More than 85,000 tourists are expected during the World Cup and some hotels and private rental properties have been charging much higher prices than usual.

IRB chief executive Mike Miller says businesses trying to "make a bit of a killing" are failing to think about the long term.

"It's not great for the image of the country and it's not really good for their business going forward either."

Mr Miller says the IRB has been working with the Government but unfortunately not much can be done to stop people charging more than they should.

Website owner critical

The managing director of the Rugby World Cup accommodation website 80 Minute Game, Sue Robinson, says some home owners are trying to charge unrealistic prices for their houses during the tournament.

Ms Robinson has turned away about 30 home owners who were asking too much, and has sent letters to owners of properties warning them about setting unrealistic prices.

She says she doesn't want to see tourists leaving New Zealand feeling ripped off.

The website has one three-bedroom house advertised at $1000 a night and comparable accommodation, much closer to Eden Park, for $370 a night.