Post-Olympic summer slump prompts London hotels to discount rooms

London hotels are signing up to discount travel site Hotwire.com to counter a potential slump in business this post-Olympic summer.

The company’s hotel team director Tara Stangel said: “On average 30% of UK hotel rooms are left empty each night.

“The opaque model operated by Hotwire offers hoteliers the opportunity to sell these empty rooms at a discounted price and earn revenue on inventory that would otherwise go unsold.”

Revenue managers at London hotels prefer this model over flash sites or discounting heavily through traditional online travel agents, she claimed.

This is because Hotwire gives hoteliers the option to sell their distressed inventory at a discount cost, without revealing their brand name and possibly compromising retail purchases.

Stangel said: “It’s no secret that hotel construction, and therefore quantity of rooms, surged in London leading up to the summer games.

“But, what is still unknown is how many of those rooms will be filled the years coming. It’s even harder to predict when we take into consideration the weakened European economic climate and declining US tourism rates.

“However, the good thing is we have plenty of internal data, expert analysis, and prior Olympic cities to assist us in our expectations, and most signs point to the fact that London hoteliers will have to be more creative when it comes to sustaining occupancy during these post-Olympic years.

“Many seem to sense this already as we’ve seen an uptick in hotels utilising sites like Hotwire as new channels to maximize revenue.”

One year after the Vancouver winter games in 2010, the city’s average hotel prices fell by 29% as occupancy numbers dropped. The same was seen in Beijing where revenue per available room fell by 43 following the Olympics.

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