Steve Keenan, The Daily Telegraph, April 26, 2012
More than 8,000 rooms were surrendered by London Olympic organising committee LOCOG in January, prompting a 25 per cent fall in average rates, and a further 12,000 are to go back on the market, according to the online travel agency Expedia.
"A number of rooms have been released by LOCOG, so the average daily rate of a hotel room has been coming down," said Andy Washington, Expedia UK’s managing director. "It’s been around 8,000 since the start of the year but we expect another 12,000 to come soon."
He said the average price of a room in London during the two-week Olympic period is currently £208 per night, down from £280 at the start of the year.
"We have seen this rate drop by six per cent in the last two weeks alone," he added.
Even without the additional batch, there doesn’t appear to be any shortage of hotel rooms in the capital. The Expedia websites lists around 4,000 that are currently available for each day of the Olympics.
The cheapest hotel on offer through its website is The Euro Hotel, a one-star property in Harrow, where a room costs £45. The cheapest room in central London – found at the Generator Hostel, a two-star hostel in King's Cross – costs £84.
The four-star Presidential Apartments in Kensington, where a room during the Olympics costs £750 a night, is the most expensive hotel with availability.
Mr Washington also revealed that a large number of overseas visitors are shunning expensive flights into Heathrow and flying into Britain’s regional airports. Flight bookings into Manchester and Glasgow during the Olympic period have risen by 40 per cent compared with the same two weeks last year.
"There are better flight prices, and people are then travelling down by train,” he said.