News reports and social networks have been buzzing since the first Olympic events, with annoyed viewers asking about the thousands of empty seats. Popular events where sports fans have failed to get tickets have been largely vacant, which rubbed salt in the wounds of those left disappointed.
The immediate and highly pressured investigation has announced that the unfilled seats were mostly from corporate sponsorship allocations and have been since put on sale.
However, where are the people on the streets? Hotels are struggling as the ‘Olympic Boom’ never materialised. According to new research, the price of a hotel stay during the Games has decreased by almost 10 per cent since the beginning of July. It appears that the original trepidation of London’s usual summer tourism industry has been put off by higher travel rates on advanced bookings. This caused Hoteliers to be criticised for cashing in on the Olympics, where now daily deal websites are pushing last-minute stays in London’s finest establishments.
Many traditional tourist hotspots have been quieter than usual. Mark Rubinstein, president of the Society of London Theatre, said to the Independent newspaper: “Normally tourists will visit central London but they are mostly here to see the Games. The message about travel problems also seems to have kept people away. My experience is things are running smoothly and people should not be put off.”
The social media channels have been busy for months, preparing us for the worst disruption Londoners would see in years. Although so far, the transport links have been handling the pressure remarkably well, with many abandoning their contingency plans altogether.
Get Ahead of The Games or ‘@GAOTG’ and each British Rail and Underground line on Twitter have been sending out a consistent stream of travel alerts and advice to get commuters and Olympic fans to and from games. Uniformly dressed event staff have been organised and are managing the millions of visitors around the events, all adding to the efficiency of LOCOG and the London Games.
Could it be a case of an over efficient ‘Prepare for the worst, hope for the best’ approach? Was London so caught up in publicly announcing our considerable preparations and hike in tourism that visitors have been put off visiting Britain? Let us know in the comments below, join our LinkedIn group or via Twitter @puregenie.