With just days to go until the Olympics, hotel rates in the capital during the Games period have fallen around 25 per cent on average, with bargain rates as low as £59, according to online booking site, Hotels.com.
The accommodation booking website said the average cost of a room over the Olympic period was £160, up 75 per cent on the same time last year; however a number of rooms released for late booking had led to rates as low as £59, depending on the date.
Hotels.com said the fall in rates was due to LOCOG (the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games) releasing rooms back to the market (8,000 in January and a further 12,000 in May) and also the fact that many hotels have removed length of stay restrictions and are selling rooms for one-night durations.
Seamus MacCormaic of Hotels.com, said: “Demand for these rooms is likely to come from the domestic market now, as it may be too late for long haul travellers to make plans to visit. However, the good news for the industry is that interest is definitely there as searches for London from the UK for the Olympic period are currently running 22 per cent higher than the same time last year.
“We are seeing promotional prices start to come through, and we do expect this trend to continue,” MacCormaic added.
While different booking sites claim different figures, the trends - inflated rates overall during the Games, but heavily discounted late rates - are similar.
A recent report by Which? Travel said that some hotel prices in the capital are more than 400 per cent higher during events. The publication highlighted that booking the Holiday Inn Express in Stratford for one night for two people on Saturday 11 August - the day of the women’s high jump finals - would cost £410. To book a double room for the following Saturday, post-Games, it would cost £79.
Yet Which? also found that rooms at the Travelodge’s London Excel hotel for 11 August, which was being offered for £299.95 a month ago, is now more than £220 cheaper, at £79.50.
Data from TravelClick, which comes directly from the hotels, shows rates are up 55.9 per cent for the period July 27-August 12 over the same time last year. There is still opportunity for booking, however, as average occupancy stands at 76.2 per cent, up from 52.1 per cent in the same period in 2011.