London's hotel chiefs have joined forces to back the capital's 2012 Olympic bid and have agreed to provide 40,000 affordable rooms for the event.
Speaking at the HCIMA's London Conference on Monday (6 September), Charles Wijeratna, director of London 2012, the capital's bid vehicle, confirmed a deal had been struck after nine months of dialogue with the major chains.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) views provision of reasonably priced rooms as extremely important for new bids, after hoteliers in Athens doubled rates during this year's Olympics. As a result, many international tourists boycotted the games on cost grounds, leaving some events only half-full.
London 2012 will submit its 600-page bid document to the IOC in November, and IOC officials will visit London during February and March 2005 to assess the plans in detail.
It is understood that London is well equipped to provide the number of rooms required for a successful bid.
A final decision on who will host the 2012 games will be made on 6 July 2005. The UK's bid centres on London's Stratford area and is up against Paris, Madrid, Moscow and New York.
Source: Caterer & Hotelkeeper magazine, 9 September 2004