Thursday, 7 June 2012

Plenty of room at the London inns during the Olympics

A prominent accommodation provider has said that hotel bookings in London during the Olympics are down by around 30% compared with bookings during the same time last year.

Mario Bodini of JacTravel has said the the expectations regarding the Olympics have been too optimistic and that the prices of hotel rooms are partly to blame:

"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,"

Bodini went on to suggest that hotels which typically cost around £120 per night are now costing up to £415 per room per night. The above quote from an industry figure could go to explain a displacement effect whereby regular tourists are put off a destination due to high prices and overcrowding.

There is a similar story over at Thomas Cook in terms of capacity available but the operator has now decided to slash it's prices and amend accommodation options in an attempt to shift it's stock over the Olympic period. The operator are believed to have almost a quarter of its 300,000 tickets available to sell after corporate sales proved worse than anticipated. Thomas Cook are now offering packages which were expected to be bought by companies to members of the public at discounted prices. Packages which were formerly with accommodation at The Waldorf Hilton are now being packaged with Holiday Inn  accommodation with prices from £99 rather than £599.

The move by Thomas Cook does seem to be of common sense in troubled times. By marrying packages with 3* accommodation they are now targeting the public who have become disenchanted with the ticket application process that has been problematic and confusing. Thomas Cook would have also hoped that we were not going to move back into a double-dip recession during a time that is meant to be lucrative for the country.

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