Hotel rates fall as Olympics surge falters

June 24, 2012 at 9:05 PM

LONDON, June 24 (UPI) -- London hotel room prices are falling after an expected surge in demand for the Summer Olympics failed to materialize, tourism surveys indicated Sunday.

One such survey showed rooms that had been going for $327 per night during the July 27-Aug. 12 Olympics were now going for $250, with minimum stays in many instances eliminated, The Daily Telegraph reported.

That represented a drop of 24 percent, but the room prices are still 75 percent higher than last year's levels, the newspaper said.

The lower prices were seen as thousands of unwanted rooms being held by the London Olympics organizing committee were released back to the hotels so they could be sold in time for the Games.

Hotel industry officials said they hoped the released rooms and lower prices would attract more short-notice visitors, who are likely to come from Britain and northern European countries.

"A lot of hotels, small, medium and large, have held back until now in the hope of attracting visitors at premium rates," Seamus Maccormaic of Hotels.com told the Telegraph. "But they are now starting to put rooms onto the market at much lower rates because they found they just could not fill them."

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