As the UK gets ready to begin its ‘one year to go’ countdown to the start of the London 2012 Olympics, Hogg Robinson Group (HRG) is taking extra steps to ensure that its corporate clients are supported during the Games.
It is now known that 65 per cent of London’s usual 120,000 rooms will be allocated to the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games, (LOCOG).
With a large proportion of the remainder available for the hotels themselves to sell, HRG anticipates that as little as 12,000 to 18,000 London hotel rooms will be sold into the general marketplace, significantly reducing the number available for business travellers to use.
Additionally, although details on airline scheduling are still to be supplied, it is likely that capacity on in-bound flights will be reduced – which could have a knock-on effect on those travellers trying to enter the UK for business during July and August 2012.
HRG has a strategy in place to ensure it is ‘business as usual’ for its clients in 2012 and particularly during the Olympic Games themselves.
Although July and August are traditionally much quieter months for business travel, the shortage of rooms will still present a challenge.
Ian Windsor, managing director HRG UK said: “It is important to recognise that the Games may present our corporate clients with unusual circumstances when it comes to planning travel.
“An event as large and complex as the Olympic Games requires a huge amount of careful, advance planning.
“This is the approach we are adopting too.
“By encouraging and supporting our clients to think about their requirements in 2012 well in advance, we will be in the strongest possible position next summer to accommodate their needs,” he added.
HRG is now working closely with its clients to establish precisely what their hotel requirements over the period will be. This information will help HRG to secure rooms early and at competitive rates.
As an alternative, HRG is recommending that clients consider renting medium to long-stay apartments within London instead of hotel stays, and to consider towns outside of London with good rail links into the capital.
This is particularly prudent given that the Olympic Delivery Authority and Network Rail have put together an ambitious timetable which includes 2,000 extra train services, including increased train services to major cities, later into the evening.
Specialists within HRG are working closely with those clients involved directly in the London 2012 Olympics as service providers, sponsors and hosts, to help them plan, manage and execute their projects during the Games.
Staying in London will be more expensive during the Olympic period and as such, HRG is also advising its clients to think carefully about whether they need to be in the city during this time.
Also in the UK today, City.Mobi is celebrating the success of its new guide to London.
City.Mobi offers the most comprehensive mobile travel guides available, with over 800 cities in 200 countries listed. Each is developed by the City.Mobi team to combine into a single global travel directory.
London.Mobi is the latest in this illustrious line up, offering click to call functionality – which means no scribbling down telephone numbers.
Most entries are also linked to websites where users can quickly access more detailed information if needed.
Other key features include information on accommodation, restaurants, attractions, entertainment, nightlife, shopping, and transport.
City.Mobi guides include user reviews and traveller utilities such as a translation guide, currency converter, news and local weather guide.