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Chapter 8: Travel Talk

Olympic Update

Now that the London Games are over and the razzmatazz has died down, there is a chance to take a calm look at what happened to hotel prices for the Olympic period, to see what consumers actually paid.

In the lead up to the games, expectations were high, with hotel prices for stays during the Games up by as much as 119% in January. However, as the Opening Ceremony approached, prices began to drop as hoteliers reduced their rates to boost occupancy - so much so in the end that the average daily rate fell below that of the same time last year for last-minute bookings.

The final year-on-year increase for all bookings taken for the Olympic Games since August 2011 was £146 ($230 USD), an increase of 31%. However, anyone who held their nerve to wait for a late bargain was rewarded with an average rate of £108 ($170 USD), down 3% on the same period last year in the week before the end of the event.

There is no doubt that the legacy for the capital with regard to its hotel supply will be very positive. With new hotel openings, more than 12,000 rooms were added to the market in the run-up to the Games, bringing the total to more than 140,000. Many other properties also completed major refurbishments.

This improved hotel stock, together with the benefits of the exceptional global media coverage achieved throughout the Games, means that London will reap the rewards in 2013 and beyond.