As the decision on the location of the 2018 World Cup looms, an online travel expert is warning hoteliers not to try and cash in too heavily on the anticipated increase in visitors to the UK.
iknow-uk, Britain’s tourism and accommodation directory is warning accommodation providers to think carefully before raising room prices in an attempt to make as much money as possible during the events.
Marcus Simmons, managing director of iknow-uk, said: “Unlike the Olympics, which will be very London-centric in terms of drawing visitors to the UK, the World Cup would certainly attract large numbers of people to most regions of the UK.
“However, both events create a dilemma for UK tourism in terms of pricing. There is a great temptation for hoteliers to cash in on a perceived windfall but there is a great danger that long term damage will be done to inbound UK tourism. If accommodation prices start to soar, visitors will perceive the UK as an expensive destination. They will not return, nor will their friends or relatives be attracted to the UK.
“A similar situation occurred in South Africa earlier this year, with many hoteliers profiteering to take advantage of the increased footfall. Perhaps there should be guidelines introduced to prevent prices rising by more than 25 per cent above standard rates.
“Varying prices according to demand is fine to an extent, but profiteering is not in the best interest of the visitor economy.
“This may sound a bit dramatic, but I really do think that we need to think long-term to gain maximum benefit from having these amazing world class events in the UK. It may seem appealing to squeeze as much as possible out of visitors but what’s the point if it means they never come back again? It’s a real false economy.”
iknow-uk’s websites cover Britain’s most popular tourist regions and are visited by more than a million users each month.
Hospitality or accommodation providers looking to list their business on one of iknow’s websites should visit www.iknow-uk.com or call 0800 064 3333.