How Are UK Hotels Preparing for Olympics?April 30, 2012 By: Jena Tesse Fox
As the 2012 Olympics draw closer, hotels around the UK (and especially throughout London) are entering the homestretch to make the most of the visitors that will descend upon the country.
Several hotels are scheduled to open just before the Games, like The Bulgari Hotel in June, ME by Melia London and Ampersand in July, and Hilton London Wembley in September (in time for the Paralympic Games).
"10,000 rooms opened over the last year in London," London & Partners representative Jo Geneen told Travel Agent. "Not just hotels, but B&Bs and self-catered apartments as well. There's a broad spectrum of accomodation—more than enough for everybody."
But not everything is perfect: A few weeks ago, Hotels in Cardiff, Wales were reported to be raising prices in advance of events held in that city, while, conversely, London hotels are cutting prices as rooms go unbooked for the Games. Other brands are offering special deals to make sure the last of their rooms are taken: Accor Hotels in London have released a new block of rooms for July through September, with rates starting at $129.
Of course, we won't know how the Games will impact the UK's hotel scene until after the events are over and the numbers are tallied up, but while it seems logical to raise prices to meet increased demand (and, conversely, to lower prices to spark demand), the recent rush in development may turn out to be premature if rooms are going unbooked. “There will be over 120,000 rooms in London by the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, and there are still deals to be found both inside Central London and a short train ride away (approximately 1 hour) in places such as Oxford, Cambridge, Bath and Brighton," Meredith Pearson of Visit Britain said. "We know from past Olympic Games that there are always more accommodation options available than people think." She adds that the company expects the lower-priced options to go quickly as the games draw nearer.
Do you think the recent increase in development will end up helping or hurting the country's overall hotel industry during and after the Games? Sound off in the comments below!