LOCOG’s world briefing seems less than accommodating

The third World Press Briefing being staged by the London Olympics organisers in October has extended its deadline for registration by a week, until August 31.

Nearly 300 reporters, editors, photographers and broadcasters from around the world are expected in London between October 24 to 28 for the final review of media arrangements ahead of the 2012 Olympics, with visiits to the now completed venues and MPC among the activities on offer.

Registration details can be found by clicking here.

Anyone travelling from outside London will be offered accommodation deals in Bloomsbury hotels priced at £120 and upwards per night.

Emails sent out today to registered media even recommended one central London hotel at a “preferential rate” of £155 (including VAT and breakfast) per night. Many attendees may need accommodation for five nights, meaning that they are looking at a hotel bill of £775.

The LOCOG email stated: “To reserve your accommodation we recommend the following hotel which is offering preferred rates to World Press Briefing delegates.

“Holiday Inn Bloomsbury

“Price: £155 per day including breakfast and VAT.

“To book call 0800 40 50 60 or 0871 423 4896 and quote the group code XXX.”

Olympics watchers will realise that InterContinental Hotels, the group that operates the Holiday Inn chain, signed a £10 million sponsorship deal with LOCOG in 2009.

As far as the media discount is concerned, the prices on offer through LOCOG are about £25 less per night than if you tried to book at the same hotel without the handy code.

But what LOCOG fails to state is that the Holiday Inn Bloomsbury also charges its guests £5 per hour (or £16 per 24 hours) for internet access – a fairly vital facility for journalists staying at an “official media hotel”.

A quick internet search of hotel booking sites today also shows that rooms in central London can be booked over the course of that week for less than £10 per night in some cases, and 3-star hotel accommodation is available for just £90 for four nights – a saving of more than £500 compared to a similar stay using he “special offer” from LOCOG with their sponsors.

This is all reminiscent of the apparent profiteering from non-rights holding media through the £150 charges that all 10,000 accredited journalists will be forced to pay to access the London 2012 intranet at Games time next year – even though telecoms provider BT is among the major backers of the London Olympics.


  • Mon Sep 12: SJA Autumn Golf Day, Muswell Hill GC. Click here for more details and to book yourself in for the day.
  • Wed Dec 7: SJA 2011 British Sports Awards – Booking now open. For more details, click here.

All details subject to alteration. Keep checking for updates