London Calling: Come For the Consulting, Stay For the Steeplechase

Worried about getting that hotel room near London during the Olympic Games? While it still won’t be easy (or inexpensive) to find a room in London during this summer’s Olympics, at least it won’t be impossible.

That’s because the The London Organizing Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games has returned about 20 percent of reserved room inventory to London hotels, and the rooms are now available to the public.

The news is surely welcome to business travelers, especially since London’s room availability is always challenging in the summer months. The Olympics, of course, will make that much worse, say the region’s hospitality executives.

The returned inventory amounts to more than 120,000 room nights at more than 200 hotels, according to Paul Deighton, CEO of the London Organizing Committee of the Olympic Games.

“We always promised that we would not hold on to hotel rooms we didn’t need but return them to the individual hotels at the beginning of 2012,” he says. “I hope that this enables the hotels to continue with their planning for this summer as we all work together to stage a spectacular Games.”

And Sandie Dawe, CEO of Visit Britain, which promotes tourism in the country, added: “The fact that such a widespread of rooms in London will now be made available to the public is great news for overseas visitors wishing to come to the UK to experience the Olympics and all the other wonderful festivities that are taking place over the summer.”