Fun and Games
Pricing in the hotel industry is demand-led. So of course prices will rise for what is the world's biggest sporting event. You compare prices at the London 2012 Games with those of August last year. A truer comparison would be between the Olympics and major events such as Farnborough or Wimbledon, when London prices reach their peak due to maximum demand. You cite an expected occupancy in London in August of under 80 per cent. How much under? Average occupancy in London in August last year was 82.2 per cent which was a very good year for hotels, so the forecast – even if achieved – is not as disastrous as you're implying. Central London will certainly be fully booked.
Whatever the level of occupancy in London, one of the key benefits of the Games is their long-term impact on UK tourism, which stretches far beyond this year. The television coverage for the Games and UK generally is worth infinitely more than anything VisitBritain could possibly generate.
Miles Quest, Communications Director, British Hospitality Association
Australian sports journalists are reporting the London Olympics in glowing terms. Not since Sydney 2000 was so much so well prepared. You should take pride in that fact, but, given your nature, you can't, and you won't. If Australian sports journalists believe in you then you've completed one miracle already.
Ian C Purdie, Sydney
Substitute the words "South Africa" for "London" and "World Cup Soccer" for "Olympics", and this could be a carbon copy of dozens of articles after the shambles in South Africa where very, very little of the proposed tourism revenues were realised.
Would anyone who is not a sports fan or who is in their right mind visit London in the month before and during this jamboree? Hiked hotel prices, transport chaos, parts of London looking like a city under siege.
A dastardly French plot that worked perfectly. France gets the tourist business, the UK gets the bill.
It's the Games themselves, rather than logistical issues that will keep tourists away. I'll come to London once the clean-up is complete.
J B Hughes
Any sensible person will stay away from Heathrow in August. We wanted to visit our son who lives in Raleigh, US – American Airlines are quoting £1,000.