Key figures involved in a row over the pricing of hotel packages for London 2012 are to hold a meeting today in a bid to discuss the situation.
Representatives of the British Hospitality Association (BHA), the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) and Thomas Cook will all come face-to-face after news last week that Thomas Cook was charging high prices for some Olympic packages, including up to £14,000 for a four-night stay at the Waldorf Hilton with five events.
The BHA is refuting claims that hotels are profiteering from the event. Ufi Ibrahim, BHA's chief executive, said that the industry's priority is to play a full part in making the 2012 Olympic Games a success.
"Recent press comment concerning the prices that agents appointed by LOCOG - in particular Thomas Cook - are charging for Olympic ticket and hotel packages has suggested that London hotels are profiteering," she said. "This is certainly not the case. London hoteliers have no control over the prices that agents are charging."
Paul Deighton, chief executive of LOCOG, said that those London hoteliers who had been part of the agreement with LOCOG had fully conformed to its fair pricing agreement, offering room allocation to LOCOG at below market rates for the Olympic Games.
"This was a core factor in the success of the London 2012 bid," he said.
Ibrahim said that London's major hospitality companies had signed agreements to provide a total of 56,000 rooms to LOCOG.
"These agreements stipulate that all participating hotels will charge room rates calculated on an agreed formula, which restricts hotel operators from increasing prices beyond Consumer Price Index increases and ensures fair pricing. That rate broadly represents the average of a hotel's room rates between 2007 and 2010.
"Without exception, the prices charged by the hotels that are part of the LOCOG agreement are at a rate which is fair and reasonable."
Deighton said that LOCOG was very grateful for the support of London's hoteliers.
"We are confident that the thousands of guests who stay in these hotels will appreciate the fair pricing, great standards of service, and admirable commitment these hotels have made to delivering a Games which shows London and its tourism industry in the best possible light.
"London's hotels are great supporters of London 2012 - and we very much appreciate their support."
By Janet Harmer
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