Olympics fans descending on the capital this summer to watch the Games could be paying three times more for holiday rental accommodation than in some other parts of the country.

A survey has revealed that the average cost per bedroom of a one-week holiday rental in July and August in London is £711. 

Similar costs in Yorkshire are £217, with the Scottish Highlands (£229 per room), North Wales (£237) and Cumbria (£242) also offering good value for money, the research by TripAdvisor showed.
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Almost here: Some 73 per cent more Britons than usual are expected to be visiting the capital for the Olympics.
After London, the next most expensive rental accommodation destination this summer is Dorset (£389) followed by Edinburgh (£370).

The survey, based on the average weekly prices for July and August, also revealed that holiday rental accommodation in popular resorts abroad in the next two months is far cheaper than in London.

The cheapest in the survey is Croatia's Dalmatian Coast (£264 per room) followed by Andalucia in Spain (£274) and the Canary Islands, which include Tenerife (£281).

'Holiday rentals are always a great option,' said TripAdvisor spokeswoman Laurel Greatrix.

'Cost-conscious travellers - especially those in groups - should look to destinations like Yorkshire and the Scottish Highlands in the UK, and Croatia and Andalucia in Europe, to find great properties without breaking the bank.'

Research last month suggested that a total of 73 per cent more Britons than usual would be heading for the capital during the Olympics.

And while hotel accommodation at first increased as providers looked to high demand, prices are said to have been dropping in recent weeks as rooms go unbooked.

Source: Mail Online
Tags: ACCOMMODATION | ROOMS | HOTELS
 
 
London 2012 Olympics Logo - The Games Accommodation
Spending a night in London while the Olympics are on? Then choose your accommodation carefully. Some hotel prices are more than £300 higher during the event, says Which? Travel.

With less than a month to go until the Opening Ceremony of this year’s London Olympics, excitement is mounting in the capital. But although visitors may be looking forward to seeing the world’s greatest sports men and women in action, they won’t be looking forward to forking out over the odds for a hotel room – as much as 400%

Hotel chains

Booking with Holiday Inn, the official hotel provider to the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, at their Stratford Express hotel, we found one night’s accommodation for two people on Saturday 11 August – the day of the Women’s High Jump finals – for £410. It’s a convenient location, but if you were to book a double room for the following Saturday, you’d pay just £79.

Staying at Best Western Ilford hotel on Saturday 11 August, a double room for two now costs £385. Just two weeks ago, when Which? Travel also checked prices, the same accommodation was only £245. A double room the weekend after, though, for Saturday 18 August, is just £64 - £321 cheaper!

Premier Inn is offering double rooms on 11 August at their Stratford hotel for £199. The following Saturday, after the Olympic Games are over, the room costs £82.

Travelodge prices come down

Saturday 11 August also sees the Men’s 10m platform diving final. And it would appear that the prices at some Travelodge hotels are taking a bit of a dive.  Double rooms at Travelodge Docklands on 11 August are being shown online for £150 – for the past eight weeks, a room here on that night has cost £237. 

A double room at Travelodge’s Excel hotel for 11 August, which was being offered for £299.95 a month ago, is now over £220 cheaper at £79.50.

'There was always going to be an increase in hotel prices during the Olympics - London will have thousands of extra visitors during this time, so it's a basic case of supply and demand,' says Lorna Cowan, Which? Travel editor. 'But seeing increases of over 400% is ridiculous. With less than a month to go, the majority of people will have booked their accommodation, and will have paid over the odds.'

Which? Travel has been tracking online prices at four UK hotel chains most visited by Which? members – Best Western, Holiday Inn, Premier Inn and Travelodge – since July 2011. Prices listed were checked at the hotel chains’ websites on 27 June 2012 and were the best available rate. Conditions on these may vary.

Source: Which?
Tags: HOTELS ACCOMMODATION TOURISM TRAVELLING   

 
 
 
 
 
 
Canary Wharf in Olympics - The Games Accommodation
The Canary Wharf business district is seen behind the Olympic Park at Stratford.
(Reuters) - Bookings at London hotels for the Olympic period are down by around a third on last summer, with travellers being put off by high prices, a British travel agent said on Wednesday, dampening hopes that the Games will help to revive Britain's economy. 

Credit ratings agency Moody's said last month that the Olympics would provide only a temporary boost to corporate earnings but said hotels would be a clear beneficiary. 

However, past Games have shown evidence of a displacement effect - with regular tourists put off by fears of overcrowding and high prices during an Olympics.

Hotel wholesaler JacTravel is forecasting visitor arrivals to London in July to be more than 35 percent down on 2011, and August to be almost 30 percent down.

JacTravel's chief executive Mario Bodini said that Olympics expectations had been overly optimistic.

"It's a great event; great publicity for the country, but what we need is sensible hotel pricing, and to make sure it goes back to normal very quickly," he told Reuters.

The travel agent said a four-star hotel room in central London is normally priced between 80 pounds and 120 pounds per night during in the peak summer season, but this year the range is 200 pounds to 415 pounds.

JacTravel's customer base includes travel agents, tour operators and online hotel booking engines, and therefore acts a useful barometer for the inbound tourism market.

JUBILEE PEAK?

Hotel prices in London were distorted when local organisers block-booked 40,000 of London's 100,000 rooms for Games athletes, officials, media and sponsors. In January 2012, 20 percent of these were released back onto the market.

"The demand is still there internationally for people to come to the UK," said Mary Rance, chief executive of trade association UK Inbound, which represents tour operators and hotels.

"There's plenty of availability in London, more than enough hotel rooms, but rates have to be commercially viable ... Hotels and tour operators have to work together better to maximise the opportunity and fill those beds."

Rance worries that many visitors to the UK this year may have already come. Britain has just celebrated the Queen's Diamond Jubilee, the other major event of the summer.

UK Inbound conducted a members' survey last week which found that between May and August 2012 almost half said their tourism bookings were "slightly lower" or "considerably lower" than the year before, (27 per cent and 21 per cent respectively).

Conversely, 52 percent responded that their bookings were either "considerably higher" or "slightly higher" year on year between January and April.

Tour operators' worries about a visitor shortfall contrast with available flight data. Research last week by travel reservations group Amadeus (AMA.MC) found a 13 percent rise in bookings for flights to London for the Olympic period compared with the same period a year ago.

These figures were based on global air reservations booked through travel agencies, not direct bookings, and do not take into account potential traffic on low-cost carriers.

A significant portion of the travellers who have already booked could be the 11,000 athletes staying in Olympic-village accommodation, and spectators staying in private residences.

UK agents say the spike in air bookings can also be accounted for by Games visitors making unusually early reservations whereas summer holidaymakers wait until nearer the time to book and it is these visitors which the UK hospitality industry fears will fail to turn up in sufficient numbers.

Source: Reuters
Tags: HOTELS | TOURISM

 
 
 
 
It’s London’s turn to host the biggest sporting event on the planet and while there’s a lot to live up to after Beijing’s spectacular success four years ago, the signs so far suggest a vintage Olympic year is ahead.

Director Danny Boyle’s opening ceremony in particular - a celebration of British culture and its contribution to the world stage - is set to be spectacular: from Daniel Craig’s in-character appearance as James Bond, to hundreds of NHS nurses showing up, details are sporadically leaking through but exactly what’s going to happen is still tantalisingly unclear. Recent reports of the Queen dropping in by helicopter are to be taken with a pinch of salt, surely?

More certainly, the influx of Olympic visitors from across the globe will add to the already huge numbers of summer tourists that temporarily settle in the second most visited city on the planet, adding to the seasonal strain on London’s infrastructure and the city’s hospitality sector.

For most of these visitors, accommodation is fundamental but finding something comfortable, affordable and convenient isn’t going to be easy as the inundation of Olympic visitors coalesces with the huge number of traditional tourists.

If you are planning on staying in London in June, and still haven’t found somewhere to stay, here are three tips to help you find something fitting.

Investigate short-term lets

Hotels are the default choice for most tourists, but many savvy London citizens are renting their properties to visitors over the Olympic period - and this option can provide a more personal and homely experience than a room in a large hotel.

Finding one of these properties is more nuanced: in many cases you can find and contact property owners directly through informal adverts placed on listings sites like Gumtree and Craigslist but there are also agencies that act as middle-men between property owners and visitors to offer Olympic rentals, such as Hampton International.

Look further afield than London

It’s ideal to be located within easy reach of East London for the Olympic Park but many visitors - particularly visitors who’re not familiar with the area - may be unaware of the Olympic accommodation options outside London that still offer easy access in barely over an hour. And these options can be more affordable than premium-priced London counterparts.

Brighton, for example, offers a seaside situ on the south coast, a vibrant local culture and access to central London within under an hour on the fastest rail connections. And plenty of rooms are guaranteed to be available - some with a sea view.

Check halls of residence

Many universities rent out rooms in halls of residence out of term, which is convenient: most students will have left to go home as the Olympics arrives in town.

Arguably this option is more of a last resort, or one for bargain-seeking visitors travelling in small numbers, but it’s definitely worth investigating: halls of residence rooms aren’t as stereotypically stark as is often imagined and, when compared with dingy rooms in last-minute budget hotels, they can be comparatively luxurious.

It’s almost certain that the 2012 Olympics is going to be great, but finding Olympic accommodation is a less certain affair. If you haven’t found anything yet then complementing your search by acting on the advice and information offered should help you find a place to rest your head within easy reach of the action.

Source: Independent
Tags: ACCOMMODATION | FLATS | HOUSES

 
 
 
 
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The London Olympics Games has triggered an unforeseen glut of new hotel openings, and a question hangs over how this might impact on the city’s hospitality scene.

The British Hospitality Association (BHA), a UK-based association of hospitality companies, has reported the opening of 61 new properties in 2012 in the Greater London area, compared to the opening of 28 properties with 6,800 rooms in 2011. Some of the properties opened in 2011 were re-openings, including the re-branding of existing hotels by Mercure and Doubletree by Hilton, while newly constructed hotels include 1,054 rooms from Premier Inn, and 919 rooms from the Travelodge Group.

The 2012 Olympics is also expected to improve the economy of eastern London areas, including Stratford, where most of the venues are located.

The new hotels scheduled to open in London vary from luxury brands like the Bulgari Knightsbridge, to new names like the ME London, along with 21 Travelodge properties, and a total of 12 hotels from the Premier Inn and Holiday Inn brands.

While hotel managers believe that there will be excess capacity immediately after the closing of the 2012 London Olympic and Paralympic Games, the general consensus is that prices may not fall much, as London will still remain an attractive travel destination, and hotel rooms will continue to remain in demand.

Robert Flinter, general manager of Apex City of London Hotel, said in an interview, ‘The feeling is that next year London won’t suffer the same post-Olympic slump that other cities did because it is so accessible.’

Stuart Johnson, manager of Mayfair’s Brown’s Hotel, also supported the theory, and said in an interview, ‘Clients want value for money, but they also want the quality and the service in line with the business they are doing.’

Source: Travel News
Tags: HOTELS | ROOMS