With some hotels having set room rates at three times the standard levels in anticipation of the Games, many properties are facing low occupancy during what was expected to be a boom period for the UK capital.
And there are even bigger reductions to be found, with the Hilton Metropole near Regent’s Park, for example, dropping rates to £160 (US$ 248) a night on any Friday and Saturday in August, compared to the £238.80 ($US371) per night it would cost in September.
According to the newspaper, hotel bookings in the city are down by around 35 percent over last year, with visitors from traditionally strong long-haul markets like the US, Australia and Japan, turning their backs on London in favor of other European destinations.
“When the Olympics are on, normal tourists are scared away because cities are perceived as expensive and too difficult to deal with," said Tom Jenkins, executive director of the European Tour Operators' Association, whose own survey last November showed that advance bookings for the Olympics period were down 90 percent compared with last year.
“This presents consumers with a big opportunity.”
Also on the chopping block are tickets for some West End shows, with many hits being offered at half price during July and August.
According to Chris Ryan, director of marketing for Encore Tickets, which sells two million West End theatre tickets a year, theatre seat bookings are down by 20 percent or more this year.
Consequently, shows such as Billy Elliot and Shrek The Musical are offering tickets for around 32 percent and 16 percent off respectively, the Guardian reported.
However, the biggest discounts are being offered for shows that would normally attract lower prices; for example, tickets for The 39 Steps are being sold for £12.50 (half the usual price), while Chicago is offering discounts of up to 40 percent.
Friday, 13 July 2012
London on sale as hotels, theatres slash prices
Source = e-Travel Blackboard: M.H