Hospitality industry figures have played down fears there will be a shortage of hotel rooms during the 2012 Olympics.
According to official figures, 17,000 new hotel rooms will be needed in time for the Olympics to cope with the demand of tourists and sponsors such as Coca-Cola, which says it will require 10,000 hospitality packages and 20,000 hotel rooms for the duration of the Games.
Although London is said to be able to provide enough rooms during the Olympics, areas such as Essex, which is hosting the mountain biking events, are not, according to Lisa Bone, head of strategic tourism at Essex Council, who was speaking at the Commercial Opportunities from the Olympics conference at London's O2 Arena last week.
But the British Hospitality Association (BHA) insisted there will be enough rooms during the Games and that there was "no cause for concern".
"New hotels are being built in the lead up to 2012, and they're taking place in August, which is a quieter time of year. Plus statistics show that normal tourism falls during the Olympic Games," a BHA spokesman said.
Kurt Janson, policy director at the Tourism Alliance agreed, saying fears were from people who "didn't have a handle on the demographics of the Olympics".
In 2005, Marianne Sutton, marketing manager at TRI Hospitality Consulting, said London had around 100,000 hotel rooms, meaning the Games could be accommodated within the existing hotel stock.
At the time, the BHA estimated that more than 170,000 new hotel rooms were planned to come on stream in the capital by 2012.
By Gemma Sharkey
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