Over-pricing has scared off visitors leading to Euro 2012 style stay-away
THE EXPECTED INFLUX of visitors for the London 2012 Olympic Games is set to be far lower than initially forecast.
As LondonNet warned last summer, perceptions of London hotels' price gouging during the Games has led to a dramatic drop in anticipated visits. We reported then how one hotel near the Olympic Park was offering a room for £54,000 for the first three nights of the Games. While prices have cooled a little since, a standard twin room in a modest 3-star Holiday Inn is being advertised on Booking.com today for over £400 a night for the same period (£1,230 in total). Wait until September and you'll get the same room for just £250 for all three nights.
And so it seems that while the 'Olympic Family' and other Games related visitors will bolster room bookings between late July and mid-August, many others have decided to make alternative plans for this year.
A recent survey by UKinbound - who represent accommodation, attractions and hotel operators - showed almost a half of respondents expected bookings to be 'slightly lower' (27%) or 'considerably lower' (21%) in May – August 2012, compared with the same period last year, with just 5% expecting numbers to be 'considerably higher' and 23% 'slightly higher'.
"Looking ahead for the short term period May to August, respondents consider the top three inhibitors to their inbound tourism business to be The 2012 London Olympics (56%), the availability and cost of accommodation in the UK (54%) and the overall Global economic climate (38%)" said UKinbound.
The dip in visitors to London is mirrored by the experience in Poland and Ukraine for the Euro 2012 football tournament. Again, high accommodation prices have taken their toll - along with media-fuelled worries of racism and public disorder at the event. A two night stay in Donetsk for England's match against Ukraine next week will cost up to £1,000. Aided and abetted by a continent wide recession, visitor numbers are unsurprisingly the lowest in many years for a Euro football event.
Do you have any sympathy for the capital's high-charging hotels? Or do you think they've scared away millions of potential visitors to London this Olympic summer?
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London Hotels Accused of Price Gouging for 2012 Olympics (LondonNet)
UKinbound’s Business Barometer Highlights Concerns (UKinbound)
London hotels 'pricing themselves out of market' (Reuters)
Euro 2012: Cheap beer, great weather – so where are the England supporters? (The Independent)
Six Tips to Bag the Best London Hotel Prices and London Hotel Special Offers (LondonNet)
London Bed and Breakfasts (LondonNet)
London Theatre Special Offers (LondonNet)