Flickr/Marc Lagneau

As the Games approach and reality sets in for hoteliers, procrastinating tourists are starting to be rewarded.

If you're thinking about visiting London during the Olympics, the hotels are there, just not necessarily at a price you'd like. But that is starting to change.

Reuters reports that London's July and August hotel bookings are actually down from 2011, suggesting the typical tourist has so far been scared away by the Games. Nearly two-thirds of Southern England's 125,000 hotel rooms are still unbooked over the course of the Summer Olympics, forcing hoteliers to offer more sensible pricing with only a few weeks remaining.

That's not to say it's now cheap. A hotel in London during the Olympics goes for, on average, $300 to $600, but for a visit before the Games, it would only be $125 to $200 a night. Compare that to other European destinations like Paris or Barcelona, where rooms will range between $75 to $120 during July and August.

Olympics 2012 bug
London gets ready for the Summer Games See full coverage

If you insist on finding a deal in London, you might want to consider the back seat of a taxi 'Relax-A-Taxi,' for just $78 a night. That's what London cabbie David Weeks has done with his taxicab after learning he and his fellow drivers won't have access to those controversial Olympics-only lanes. As long as you're parked next to Weeks's home, bathroom access will be included in the accommodation package.

In the meantime, some hotels are indeed lowering their rates. Travelodge has lowered its prices in some cases by more than half since last month. Travel company Thomas Cook is now offering up to 50 percent off its Olympics packages, including tickets and accommodation.

It remains to be seen whether London's hospitality dream of fully booked hotels at maximum prices turns out to be a fantasy. As the Games approach and reality sets in for hoteliers, procrastinating tourists are starting to be rewarded.

Top image of St. Pancras Hotel courtesy Flickr user Marc Lagneau

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. Perspective

    Why Car-Free Streets Will Soon Be the Norm

    In cities like New York, Paris, Rotterdam, and soon San Francisco, car-free streets are emerging amid a growing movement.

  2. Transportation

    How Media Coverage of Car Crashes Downplays the Role of Drivers

    Safety advocates have long complained that media outlets tend to blame pedestrians and cyclists who are hit by cars. Research suggests they’re right.

  3. photo: a commuter looks at a small map of the London Tube in 2009
    Maps

    Help! The London Tube Map Is Out of Control.

    It’s never been easy to design a map of the city’s underground transit network. But soon, critics say, legibility concerns will demand a new look.

  4. photo: an Uber driver.
    Perspective

    Did Uber Just Enable Discrimination by Destination?

    In California, the ride-hailing company is changing a policy used as a safeguard against driver discrimination against low-income and minority riders.

  5. photo: a Tower Records Japan Inc. store in Tokyo, Japan.
    Life

    The Bankrupt American Brands Still Thriving in Japan

    Cultural cachet, licensing deals, and density explain why Toys ‘R’ Us, Tower Records, Barneys, and other faded U.S. retailers remain big across the Pacific.

×