Yet more reasons for abandoning London during the Olympic Games have come out this week: reports of a lack of hotel rooms and extortionate pricing for those which are available have been discussed on various news channels.
It’s all about supply and demand, of course.
In this case, demand is high because of both the ‘main’ Olympic Games as well as the Paralympic Games afterwards. As noted on the BBC’s “Democracy Live” website:
”Speaking during questions on 9 February 2012, Ms Jowell told MPs of a mother who had been forced to pay £1,000 a night for a specially adapted hotel room in order to take her disabled daughter to the Paralympic Games.
“The same room would cost £375 during the Easter holidays, a 167% increase, Ms Jowell claimed.
“She told MPs that her team’s research found that hotel prices in London during the course of the games were, on average, 315% higher than normal.”
Of course demand will be high from tourists and visitors wanting to watch the Games, but it’s also the supply side that’s being affected. Why? Well it’s down to that great gravy train of excess and privilege known as “the Olympic family”. This is estimated to mean 78,400 people. Yes, 78,400! Of these, well over 60% aren’t actually athletes or officials:
“National Olympic Committees (NOC) 19,900
– Team officials
International Federations (IF) 4,150
– Technical officials
– International Federations staff and guests
– Press, photographers, journalists
– Rights holding broadcasters
– Olympic Broadcast Organisation
International Olympic Committee (IOC) 1,650
– IOC members
– World AntiDoping Agency
– Court of Arbitration of Sport
– IOC Medical Commission
– IOC staff
– Observers and guests
Marketing partners (sponsors) 31,400
– The Olympic Partners and guests
– Marketing Partner Coach Programme (ticketed)
Grand total 78,400″
This is the bunch that will be bringing traffic chaos to London with the Olympic Route Network of Olympic Family-only traffic lanes carved out of the already-congested existing road network. It’s explained nicely here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-16277688
And where are all these Olympic Family members staying? Well maybe in the rooms they’ve block-booked at specially reduced rates:
“Under a deal struck in 2005, Locog booked around 600,000 room nights in London during the course of the games, for Olympic officials, media and others.
“In January, around 120,000 of these rooms were put back on sale to the public after Locog said it no longer needed them.”
Ah! That would explain it! I’m so pleased I won’t be here in London during the Olympics…