Overseas visitors urged to plan for 2012

International visitors to the capital have been advised to start researching and planning for their Olympics trip if they hope to secure hotel accommodation in London, according a report by the Montreal Gazette.

While warning North Americans that a visit to the city during the Games will be expensive, the group said it is also a "once-in-a-lifetime trip".

While the focus of the attention will be on Stratford, where the Olympic Park, Olympic Stadium and athlete's village are housed, events will be taking place across the capital, making central London hotels ideal.

"Many of the 302 events (in 34 venues) will take place at familiar London-area landmarks: soccer at Wembley Stadium, tennis at Wimbledon, archery at Lord's Cricket Ground, road cycling in Regent's Park and latter-round basketball at North Greenwich Arena," explained the article.

However, planning ahead is key as the organisers predict that events at the Olympic Park could see as many 200,000 visitors a day on top of thousands of dignitaries and athletes, meaning that many London hotels will be packed to capacity.

"As often happens with the Olympics, organisers are holding back most of greater London's 140,000 hotel rooms, residence halls and student dorms while they arrange housing for dignitaries and such.

Once those lodgings are sorted out, hotels are expected to release rooms on January 24th," added the report.

Furthermore, the article advises international visitors to avoid cars, saying that the newly designed rail system will see high-speed trains zip from Kings Cross to the Olympic Park in under ten minutes – easily accessible for those at hotels in Marble Arch.

VisitBritain says it expects the country to see nearly 31 million visitors in 2012, with tourists splashing out over £17 billion.

The tourism group hopes to leverage the tourist attention-grabbing Olympic Games and Queen's Diamond Jubilee to convince visitors to plan regular visits to the UK.
 

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