Friday, 15 June 2012
Rooms to let...
Well, I hate to say I told you so.....Oh alright, then. I admit it. I told you so!
Seems the jubilee was a good day or two to bury bad news. Cashing in for short term gain is never a good strategy at the best of times - and the 2012 London Olympics is far from being the best of times.
A survey last week showed that London hotels are hiking their prices for the period of the games by an average of 104% with many charging up to four times their normal rates or more. As a result, the 'economic boom' that our illustrious government has been promising looks unlikely to come about as thousands of visitors are throwing their arms in the air in despair and deciding that these greedy bastards can stuff it!
Adding to the prices problem are the heightened congestion and security and as a result bookings for July and August are down by 35%. On the other hand it is an ill wind that blows nobody any good, and the French are rubbing their hands together in glee at having not only avoided the £20 billion bill for this load of nonsense but also seeing their visitor bookings up by 50%. Barcelona and Berlin are seeing booking up even higher - around the 100% mark.
Part of London's problems is the incompetence of LOCOG, the games organisers. Coe's merry men reserved 40,000 rooms for the officials and their families only to see 8,000 of them dumped back on the market as unneeded. So, first they force the prices up by restricting availability, then they create a glut by dumping them back on the market. Brilliant!
All of this comes as no great surprise - or at least it shouldn't. Normal tourism in Beijing, Barcelona and Sydney all dropped through the floor during their games and took significant periods of time to recover.
But of course, LOCOG know so much better, don't they?...