London Olympic fans urged to book hotels now to save cash
Friday 7, October 2011
Visitors to the London Olympics were today urged to book their accommodation as soon as possible after a new report revealed how major sporting events led to average hotel price increases of nearly 30 per cent in the first half of the year.
The latest Hotels.com Hotel Price Index (HPI) showed how British rugby fans travelling to the World Cuphave been forced to dig deep. The booking demand for the six-week tournament contributed to the sharp rise with average room rates in the host cities of Wellington up 29% to £73 per night and Auckland up 11% to £68 per night. The overall rate in New Zealand itself also rose 14% to £70.
As well as big rugby showpieces, the Hotels.com report reveals how Formula OneGrand Prix racing can affect prices and occupancy rates in venue cities with the sport being one of the factors behind a 22% jump in Melbourne to £96 and a 5% rise in Barcelona to £102.
Sports fans also helped to boost the price of a room in London by 3% to £113 with the city at full occupancy for the Wimbledon tennis tournament.
The latest HPI also charts how prices can fall dramatically after a major sports event such as the football World Cup in South Africa in 2010. The country saw its average room rate tumble by 17% in the first six months of this year to £105 with host cities Cape Town down 20% to £100 and Johannesburg down 13% to £111.
Hotels.com said the statistics could provide a pointer to what could happen in London before, during and after the 2012 Olympics with some industry insiders already predicting rates could jump as high as 50%.
Alison Couper of Hotels.com said: “Prestige sporting events are one of the key drivers of hotel prices and can lead to double-digit percentage increases, as many rugby fans are finding at the moment.
“What is happening in New Zealand and what happened in South Africa could provide a foretaste for what might occur in London next year.
“It is expected that several thousand additional hotel rooms will be available in the city in the run-up to the 2012 Olympics. However, despite the extra capacity, we would urge people thinking of coming to the capital next summer to book their accommodation as soon as they can as the demand and prices are likely to soar the closer we get to the event.
“London is always popular with both domestic and foreign travellers but the Games are set to take that popularity to a whole new level.
The impact of other non-sporting, one-off events on hotel prices could also be seen in the report. Dublin witnessed a 7% in the average cost of a room to £73 with the visits of the Queen and Barack Obama in May enhancing the city’s profile and appeal. Dusseldorf also saw a 17% to £100 after the German city hosted the Eurovision Song Contest in May.
The Hotels.com HPI tracks the real prices paid per hotel room (rather than advertised rates) for 125,000 properties across more than 19,000 locations around the world. The latest HPI looks at prices in the first half of 2011compared to those in the first half of 2010.
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