Hotel Rates Drop, Tickets Still Available for London Olympics

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Think you've been priced out of the Olympics? Think again.

Room rates have fallen 25 percent from their highs in the last few weeks, according to Hotels.com. And Travelocity reported that prices on some London hotels are as much as 40 percent off regular rates during the Olympic period.

The lower prices are due, in part, to the last round of rooms being released by the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games (LOCOG) in late June. Back in 2005, the committee reserved 40,000 of the city's 140,000 rooms, said Nigel Pocklington, CMO of Hotels.com.

It's only now that hotels know exactly how full they'll really be during the Olympics.

To be sure, one of the reasons prices have dropped is because they may have been inflated in the first place.

"With a big event," Pocklington said, "of course, the hotels are going to try and make big yields."

With just two weeks to go, the prices are finally reflecting market demand.

"The hotels will still be pretty full," Pocklington said. "London is a very strong hotel market and they're usually at about 85 percent occupancy. They should be at about 90 for the games."

Many hotels that set minimum stay requirements have lifted those in an effort to attract business, he said.

Some of the hotel vacancies may be attributed to the growth in the vacation rental market. HomeAway.com said there has been a 333 percent growth in the number of listings in London since 2011.

For consumers who are just now getting caught up in the Olympic spirit, this presents an opportunity to get to the games for a relatively affordable price.

ABC News researched the cheapest time to travel to the Games and found that the middle weekend (Aug. 4) and the second week were the least expensive. Hotels.com said the majority of searches for travel to London were for the dates of the opening ceremonies and the start of the events.

Here is sample pricing for a round-trip flight and four nights at a three-star hotel a 20-minute train ride from central London. Prices were found on Travelocity by ABC News, are per person and inclusive of taxes and applicable fees. Dates searched were Aug. 1 through Aug. 6, 2012.

      FROM NYC: From $1,370 per person
      FROM CHICAGO: $1,380
      FROM MIAMI: $1,350
      FROM LA: $1,550
      FROM SFO: $1,660
      FROM DALLAS: $1,530
      FROM BOSTON: $1,200

If you're lucky enough to have friends to stay with in London or would prefer renting a flat to staying in a hotel, round-trip airfare ranged from $840 from Boston for a non-stop flight to $1,300 for a one-stop flight from San Francisco. Non-stop flights from both New York City and Chicago are available from less than $1,000.

Event tickets are still available, too. As of press time, tickets for men's gymnastics, women's football, rowing, volleyball, boxing and more could be purchased. Visit tickets.london2012.com. According to the website, event tickets are being released on a near-daily basis.

Top Tips for Getting to the Games:

      1. Go over the middle weekend -- the weekend of 8/4. It's the cheapest.
      2. Book a hotel that includes breakfast in the rate. This can be a big money-saver, especially with the exchange rate being unfavorable to Americans.
      3. Do it now. This really is your last chance to get a deal. Domestic travelers will likely decide to make last-minute trips and book hotels for one- or two-night stays.
      4. If the hotels are still just too expensive, rent a flat! The number of homes listed for rent is up 333 percent.

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