Despite their best efforts to prevent it, the free market is taking control of hotel bookings around the London 2012 Olympics.
According to Breaking Travel News:
A number of hotels in London have been accused by tourism authorities of hiking room rates during next year’s Olympics, with one hotel found to charging five times the standard rate.
Ahead of London 2012 tickets going on sale this Tuesday, UKinbound, the industry body for overseas tourism to Britain, said the move undermines the hospitality industry’s efforts to avoid tourism “price-gouging.”
“Hotels appear to be gripped by a frenzy of greed,” Mario Bodini, general secretary of UKinbound and chief executive of JacTravel, a wholesale accommodation provider, told the Financial Times.
One four-star London hotel, which normally charges £200 per room per night, is asking £1,100, a wholesale tour specialist told the FT.
Another four-star hotel is quoting £297 per room per night, against £131 this year. One three-star hotel has nearly trebled its 2011 room rate for the Olympics, demanding £235 a night.
On Tuesday, the organisers begin selling 6.6m tickets. However there are fears that price gouging will deter overseas spectators, as well as those from other parts of the U.K.
Getting a bed during the Olympics was always going to be a tough — and expensive — proposition. If you’re looking for a hotel for the games, prepare to pay handsomely for it. But there are other alternatives.
You can always stay with 1-2 hours of London and commute in for the games (give yourself plenty of time for this). You could stay with friends and family.
Also – you could leave the country. I don’t mean avoid Britain all together, but some enterprising people are staying across the English Channel in Calais, France. With the High Speed Rail link — which goes right through the Olympic Park Area — it’s within commutable distance for the games.
Are you going to be in London for the games? What are your lodging plans? Let us know in the comments!