The London Olympics Games has triggered an unforeseen glut of new hotel openings, and a question hangs over how this might impact on the city’s hospitality scene.
The British Hospitality Association (BHA), a UK-based association of hospitality companies, has reported the opening of 61 new properties in 2012 in the Greater London area, compared to the opening of 28 properties with 6,800 rooms in 2011. Some of the properties opened in 2011 were re-openings, including the re-branding of existing hotels by Mercure and Doubletree by Hilton, while newly constructed hotels include 1,054 rooms from Premier Inn, and 919 rooms from the Travelodge Group.
The 2012 Olympics is also expected to improve the economy of eastern London areas, including Stratford, where most of the venues are located.
The new hotels scheduled to open in London vary from luxury brands like the Bulgari Knightsbridge, to new names like the ME London, along with 21 Travelodge properties, and a total of 12 hotels from the Premier Inn and Holiday Inn brands.
While hotel managers believe that there will be excess capacity immediately after the closing of the 2012 London Olympic and Paralympic Games, the general consensus is that prices may not fall much, as London will still remain an attractive travel destination, and hotel rooms will continue to remain in demand.
Robert Flinter, general manager of Apex City of London Hotel, said in an interview, ‘The feeling is that next year London won’t suffer the same post-Olympic slump that other cities did because it is so accessible.’
Stuart Johnson, manager of Mayfair’s Brown’s Hotel, also supported the theory, and said in an interview, ‘Clients want value for money, but they also want the quality and the service in line with the business they are doing.’