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.
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
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.
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.
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
As the organising committee for the London Olympics hands back 120,000 hotel reservations, one tourism industry boss tells Channel 4 News high hotel prices are putting people off coming to London.
The organising committee for the London 2012 Olympics has confirmed 120,000 hotel places it had reserved for workers, sponsors and the media are no longer needed.
The London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games (Locog) said around 20 per cent of spaces will be put back on the market. The rooms, at more than 200 hotels, range from five-star to budget accommodation.
Locog Chief Executive Paul Deighton said: "The hotel industry in London got behind the bid to stage the Games in the most extraordinary way and that support helped us across the line.
"We always promised that we would not hold onto hotel rooms we didn't need but return them to the individual hotels at the beginning of 2012. We are now doing this and I hope that this enables the hotels to continue with their planning for this summer as we all work together to stage a spectacular Games."
VisitBritain Chief Executive Sandie Dawe said: "The fact that such a wide spread of rooms in London will now be made available to the public is great news for overseas visitors wishing to come to the UK to experience the Olympics and all the other wonderful festivities that are taking place over the summer."
Tourism industry bosses agree that hotel prices in London have been driven up over the period the Olympics is being staged. Channel 4 News tried to book a Premier Inn room at the Angel Islington hotel for Friday 27 July 2012 - the night of the Olympics Opening Ceremony - and it was priced at £199. The same room seven days earlier costs just £90, so an increase of around 120 per cent.
Miles Quest from the British Hospitality Association told Channel 4 News now that Locog has released more hotel rooms, tourists could see prices fall.
"One thinks that with a flood of rooms coming onto the market, people might be able to get a bargain. But if there's a sudden wave of demand for those rooms, prices will go up. It's simple economics," he said.
But in a time of economic hardship, will people both in the UK and abroad be put off from by high prices?
Tom Jenkins from the European Tour Operators Association thinks rising costs may have a negative effect on visitor numbers.
He told Channel 4 News: "It's fair to say many people have been put off coming to London this summer. They have been scared off because of the high hotel prices. There is probably going to be economic decline because of this, but we don't know by how much."
However, the British Hospitality Association says rising hotel prices during such a key sporting event are nothing new.
"The Olympic Games is the biggest sporting event in the world, so it is inevitable prices will rise. When demand is high, prices will rise accordingly. It is exactly the same story when Wimbledon is on in London. There is absolutely no evidence I can see that people have been put off coming to London", said Quest.
VisitBritain projects that this year, the UK should attract 30.7 million visitors, spending a total of £17.6 billion. Spokesman Mark Di-Toro told Channel 4 News: "While these figures are in line with expected numbers in 2011, maintaining current visitor levels would be a good outcome in a year that is proving difficult to predict due to the current global economic climate."
Referring to rising hotel prices, he said: "There remains good value for those people looking to book accommodation.
"Our advice to visitors is to shop around and keep in mind that if there is nothing that suits your needs in central London, there are many additional hotels within easy commuting distance of the capital, in places like Birmingham, Brighton and Oxford."
Source: Channel 4 News
Organisers locked out 20 per cent more rooms than needed
Rooms at more than 200 hotels now available for bookings
Naked Traveller: Travel Guide to the 2012 London Olympics
An influx of hotel rooms for the London Olympics has hit the market after organisers grossly overestimated the number of rooms they would need for officials.
The committee organising the games has given back more than 120,000 room nights at over 200 hotels for summer.
But travel industry experts warned the damage had already been done, with inflated prices putting tourists off visiting this summer.
As part of the bid to stage the games, agreements were struck with hotels in 2005 to provide more than 40,000 hotel rooms for media, international sport federations, the International Olympic Committee, Games employees and sponsors.
The London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) promised to return any unwanted rooms back to the hotels so they could sell them in time for the summer of 2012.
VisitBritain CEO Sandie Dawe said around 20 per cent of the hotel rooms that were being held in advance of the Games, ranging from budget accommodation to five star, would be returned to the public.
"The fact that such a wide spread of rooms in London will now be made available to the public is great news for overseas visitors wishing to come to the UK to experience the Olympics and all the other wonderful festivities that are taking place over the summer,'' she said.
"This is an important and timely boost for the sector as it looks to enhance the image of the UK as a destination of choice, showcasing the very best of what Britain has to offer overseas visitors and helping create a tourism legacy for years to come.''
Source: Herald Sun
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Travellers from around the world are searching for London hotels in increasing numbers as the Olympic Games draws ever closer, a website has revealed.
Searches for hotels in the capital have shot up by 464 per cent in Russia, according to the latest figures from Hotels.com, while the number of travellers looking for accommodation from Brazil has increased by 231 per cent.
There has also been a boom in demand for London hotels from Colombia, which experienced a rise of 224 per cent, while searches from around the UK have gone up by 122 per cent as people look for somewhere to stay during the Games in July and August.
The hunt for hotel rooms during the Games is also hotting up on the continent, with searches from Italy and the Netherlands both rising by 96 per cent, while there has been an increase of 94 per cent from Spain.
Hotels.com’s Alison Couper said: “With all eyes on London and the UK this year, it’s no surprise that the rest of the world is searching for accommodation in the capital.
“We’re continuing to work with hoteliers to ensure we provide hotel rates to suit any Olympic budget.
“But we are advising visitors from across the globe to book their accommodation as soon as possible whether it be in the city centre or across the South East, which is potentially a more affordable option than those looking to stay in the heart of London.”
Prospective visitors to London are keen on staying near to transport hubs, the searches suggest. Paddington, Marylebone, Victoria and St Pancras are among the most searched destinations around the capital as many tourists take a practical approach to planning their visit.
However, more glamorous areas such as Mayfair, Chelsea, Knightsbridge and Westminster also feature on the most searched for areas list.
Prices at London’s hotels could rise by as much as 85 per cent in the centre of city around the time of the opening ceremony, the website said, even though approximately 12,000 additional rooms will be added to the capital.
A recent survey found the average price of a hotel room in London was £131.03 last year.
Source: London Loves Business
More than 120,000 places reserved in hotels by Olympics organisers for workers, sponsors and the media during the Games will not be needed, it has emerged.
The London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games (Locog) confirmed that around 20% of the room nights they had booked would now be returned to the hotels for them to offer up to other customers.
As part of the bid to stage the 2012 Games, agreements had been struck with hotels to provide more than 40,000 rooms, representing more than 600,000 room nights during the period. Part of the deal was that the committee promised to return any unwanted rooms back to the hotels so they could sell them in time for Games.
The rooms, at more than 200 hotels, range from five-star to budget accommodation.
Locog chief executive Paul Deighton said: "The hotel industry in London got behind the bid to stage the Games in the most extraordinary way and that support helped us across the line.
"We always promised that we would not hold on to hotel rooms we didn't need but return them to the individual hotels at the beginning of 2012. We are now doing this and I hope that this enables the hotels to continue with their planning for this summer as we all work together to stage a spectacular Games."
VisitBritain chief executive Sandie Dawe said: "We welcome today's announcement by Locog that they will be releasing around 20% of the hotel rooms that they have held in advance of the Games taking place. The fact that such a wide spread of rooms in London will now be made available to the public is great news for overseas visitors wishing to come to the UK to experience the Olympics and all the other wonderful festivities that are taking place over the summer."
Barry Wishart from the Grange Hotel group added: "We were only too happy to support London's bid for the Games and we are proud to continue that support. Now Locog has confirmed these details, we are able to confirm our plans for this summer and help our customers be part of this extraordinary event."
Not everyone believes the news is so positive however, with some in the tourism industry warning that prices had risen too fast before the new rooms were offered and many potential visitors had now been put off from staying in the capital.
Neil Wootton, managing director of sightseeing operator Premium Tours, told the Independent: "Prices have been so high that tourists are moving elsewhere."
Copyright © 2012 The Press Association. All rights reserved.
Source: The Press Association Google News