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Group to Monitor World Cup Prices

May 9, 2002

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SEOUL, South Korea (AP) _ In a bid to curb price gouging on accommodation during the World Cup, South Korean consumer rights groups will check fees and charges at 1,300 hotels and other lodging facilities in the country’s 10 World Cup host cities.

During the May 27-29 inspection, the Korea National Council of Consumer Organization will also check whether the facilities have signboards in English and other foreign languages, translation services, fax machines and Internet service.

``We will make a report of our findings and distribute it to the government, media and tourists,″ said Cho Sun-haeng, an official of the private group.

Although there are no laws that restrict price gouging, the government will use the information to urge accommodation providers to restrain from increasing fees to take advantage of demand during the tournament, said Kwon Jun-ho of the Finance and Economy Ministry.

The government expects more than 400,000 foreigners to visit during the May 31-June 30 tournament, and has offered 8 billion won (dlrs 6.2 million) of low interest loans to lodging facilities for renovations.

South Korea and Japan will co-host the World Cup.

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