London Hotels Lower Prices

Yesterday was, by pretty much any standard, a great day for Americans at the Olympics. The Travel Agent team sends its heartiest congratulations to the women's gymnastics team and to Michael Phelps, who now has the most medals of any Olympic athlete ever.

But hoteliers in London may not be feeling so jubilant: According to the Telegraph, hotels and other businesses dependent on visitors (museums, theaters, even taxis) are not seeing the expected windfall from the Games in the city, with attendances down by up to a third.

Steve McNamara, general secretary of the Licensed Taxi Drivers Association, described London as a "ghost town."

The hotel price cuts mean that many rooms in London are now cheaper than they were this time last summer, according to Lastminute.com. The website said that the average room in London booked on a last minute deal is currently available for £112 a night compared to £133 last year.

Hotels.com, meanwhile, said that there are still rooms available in all hotel classes, and noted that although prices have come down, average room rates are still slightly higher than they were a year ago. While rooms were being priced at around 120 percent above their normal price earlier this year, they are now just 34 percent higher, which is in line with other major sporting events. 

But on the flip side, STR Global is reporting hoteliers across London saw 84.4 percent occupancy during the first two days of the Olympics (July 27-29), according to Breaking Travel News, which also says that properties in the capital saw average room rates of £224.72. This seems to be consistent with previous host cities, which the report says traditionally do not sell out. Reviewing hotel performance over the past four summer games, back to 1996 in Atlanta, none of the host cities’ occupancy surpassed 90 percent for the months in which the Olympics occurred.



 

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