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Olympics put off: London hotels incurring losses

travel Updated: Jun 06, 2012 18:00 IST
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London's hotels are facing a dramatic loss in profits as one third of rooms are found to be unsold over the summer, after tourists have been put off by the Olympics, a survey has found.

The economic boom, which the UK Government hoped the Games would bring to the capital, appears to become a bust with tens of thousands to tourists spurning the hiked prices, congestion and heightened security.

The hotel bookings for July and August in Britain are already down by 35 per cent on last year, while other European capitals appear to be prospering from London's gloom.

According to The Telegraph, part of London's problems have been caused by the London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games (LOCOG), who have blocked 40,000 rooms over the period, booking them for officials and their families.

Hotels then increased prices for remaining rooms only for LOCOG to return a fifth of the rooms earlier this year.

Terry Williamson, chief operating officer of JacTravel, whose customers include travel agents and hotel websites, claimed that this has distorted the market place.

"If you lose a third of your availability and believe that that's sold for you in the market place then that's probably going to change your approach to how your price your remaining stock. The fact is that that stock did not sell when you look at our data with seven weeks left to go in market," Williamson said.

Williamson added that "normal tourism" in other Olympic capitals such had Sydney, Beijing and Barcelona had dropped significantly during the Games and "took some time to recover".