London 2012: Olympic hotel prices fall by 25 per cent
THE price of a hotel stay in London during the Olympics has fallen by around a quarter in the last two weeks, according to new research.
Average room rates in the capital between July 27 and August 12 are currently £160 (€200) a night – still 75 per cent up on the same time last year, but down significantly from £202 (€252) earlier this month.
The booking website Hotels.com, which published the figures, said that a large number of rooms were available for far less, with rates starting at around £59 (€74) a night.
Hoteliers in the capital have been widely criticised for trying to cash in on an anticipated influx of visitors this summer.
Telegraph Travel reported last year that some visitors to London during the Olympic Games next summer were being asked to pay up to 10 times the usual rate for a hotel room, while the London mayor’s office recently accused hoteliers of spoiling the city’s image as an affordable destination.
However, high prices appear to have put off ordinary summer holidaymakers, with one inbound tour operator claiming that bookings for breaks in London were down by 35 per cent. This month Trivago.com, another hotel booking website, said that 36 per cent of hotel rooms in the capital remained unsold for the period covering the Olympics.
Seamus MacCormaic of Hotels.com agreed that the falling prices were due to a lack of demand from overseas visitors, and added that the opening of several new hotels had increased availability in the market.
The Tune Hotel, for example, is opening its fourth London branch in King’s Cross next month, and has rates during the Games starting at £99 (€123) a night.
“Falling prices are an encouraging move for consumers and there is still good availability across London in all classes of hotel,” he said. “Demand for these rooms is likely to come from the domestic market now, as it may be too late for long-haul travellers to make plans to visit.”