From my window, I can see the WaterTower in east London, which is likely to become home to an arsenal of surface to air missiles during the 2012 Olympic games. It really brought home a) how close the games are now – less than three months away, and the sheer disruption the Games will cause for business travellers.
Throughout June, July and August, London will be awash with tourists thanks to the Olympics, Paralympics and Diamond Jubilee. This influx of people will be filling up hotel rooms, serviced apartments, tube trains and taxis to bursting point, which is great for the London economy, but not so wonderful for the business traveller.
Stanley Slaughter wrote about the likely disruption in ABTN recently, highlighting that hotel prices are up 7.6% year on year (according to consultants PKF) and booking rates up by more than 5% due to our summer of fun and London’s recent poll topping of the best cities in the world. What this means is that those rooms needed for last minute trips are going to be hard to find and, if they can be found, come with a premium price tag. But, he claims, it is transport that is likely to prove the more crucial problem: both getting into London and getting around it.
From a local’s point of view, the reminders from Transport for London to consider alternative routes to work – or better still – working from home, are omnipresent and more than a little annoying. So I do worry how the business traveller will cope, with their lack of local knowledge and reliance on local service providers. One solution could be to avoid London altogether, which means the sun could be about to shine very brightly on video conference providers this summer.
Posted by Daniela Reck - firstname.lastname@example.org