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London calling, but can you afford it?

14/03/12 20:23 CET

As the clock counts down to the London Olympics, the tourism industry is looking forward to a bumper summer. It is the world’s greatest sporting event, but it is already looking like the toughest competition will be finding somewhere to stay.

Hotels in central London are filling up and rooms rates are soaring.

Gareth Banner, General Manager of the Hempel Hotel, said: I think hotel prices have increased but I don’t think it is entirely attributable to the games. There has been some press around profiteering, which I don’t think is all that (it) has been portrayed (as) in the press so far. A lot of the hotels have signed up to an allocation of rooms with the LOCOG (London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games), had a contracted price several years ago and will be honouring that.”

However, a survey by a leading tourism website found that in some cases hotel prices had doubled.

David Roche, head of hotels.com said: “In central London hotel prices have already gone up year-on-year more than 100 percent. There is very, very little availability left in central London. My advice to the consumers would be, if you’re going to book for the Olympics, book now, don’t delay. Also think about booking farther into west London where the prices are not so high.”

With hotel space at a premium and room prices hitting record heights, Olympic gold may soon come to mean what you have to pay to get a bed for the night.

Follow Ali Sheikholeslami on Twitter

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