Time to take a long term view say experts as room rates heat up
FRESH EVIDENCE has emerged of London Hotels increasing their prices this summer, with industry pundits warning they risk losing clients in the long run.
A recent gathering of the capital's leading destination management companies (DMCs), hosted by Chewton Glen Hotel, heard industry figures bemoan excessive hotel prices reports the website meetpie.com.
"London is in danger of pricing itself out of the market" said Wedgewood Travel's Managing Director Aidan Ford.
"We are on the cusp. The strong euro has made London very attractive this last year, but hotel rates are increasing inexorably. It’s understandable because the demand is huge and people are paying the prices that the hotels are asking – but the hotels have to remember that just because people are paying the prices now, this does not mean that they’re happy about it, and as soon as clients can choose an acceptable and less expensive alternative destination, they will do just that."
"London hotels need to be reminded that they’re not only competing with each other, but with similar properties across Europe, from Lisbon to Istanbul, where prices are much more competitive."
None more so than London's airport hotels which compete internationally for transfer, meeting and conference business. A report just published by corporate service company HRG revealed that the average room rate for a Heathrow Airport hotel for the first half of this year was £110.60 - a 6% rise on the same period last year, compared to a 2% rise in the capital as a whole.
It's not just business travellers who are feeling the heat, as we reported last month, there's increasing evidence of price gouging for the London 2012 Olympics. According to Spectra Travel's Wendy Fulcher London hotels were getting plain greedy: "They need to take a long term view and ensure that in the run-up to the Olympics we don’t turn off our customers. We want them back when the Olympics are finished!"
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Photo 'Hotel' by aubergene used under Creative Commons License