It’s the incredible news you have been waiting for Lonely Planet has finally announced a destination in their top 3 places to visit that is not a flight across the pacific ocean. In 2014 it’s just a drive across the border (or a boat across the North Sea if you are based in Northern Ireland or Ireland!) to stunning Scotland as it prepares for the biggest year in the countries history - playing host to the Commonwealth Games, the Ryder Cup and even the MTV Awards - it really is the place to be. But the dream could come crashing down with the harsh reality of hotel price hikes if you don’t shop around!
Even if you haven’t got tickets to any of the above events as Scotland opens it’s doors to the world there is no better time to see it with celebrations and cultural events taking place up and down the country and an atmosphere expected to rival that of London 2012! HOWEVER with demand usually comes a shortage of supply, which means an increase in the cost of accommodation, and Scotland is no exception, with average hotel prices in Glasgow rising by more than 400% - according to an article published by the BBC this week.
The article states that:
“The BBC looked at 10 hotels, picked at random, and compared their prices during Games time against prices outside of the 11-day event. It discovered the average price increase on a daily rate for a standard double room during the Games was 410%. During the investigation, it was discovered that one budget hotel in the centre of the city that usually offers a room for around £25 had priced the same room at £250 during the Commonwealth Games.
Scott Taylor, chief executive of Glasgow City Marketing Bureau, says the price increases can be justified in part, but concedes that those pitching prices too high are not helping. "It'll turn people away from their property for sure," he said. "There is a bit of a 'wait and see' from the smaller hotels and guesthouses where they are not sure about the level of demand, so we are encouraging them to really look at their prices. There are mitigating circumstances that will reduce those prices.”
As the Glasgow Marketing Bureau states in the article a price hike to this extent could be detrimental, despite deliberately keeping games ticket prices low to encourage visitors to the City. Scotland doesn’t just want visitors to drop in for the day or worse still not at all, they want visitors to come and explore it’s incredible landscapes, cultural cities and unique traditions - and become hooked on this somewhat undiscovered place!
BUT DON’T GIVE UP...
There is still hope and here is how you can do it on a budget! Some hotel allocations that are currently reserved by tour operators will come back onto the market in 2014, although there is no guarantee on pricing. HOWEVER one solution that is guaranteed to remain cost effective and above all fun is camping! During the Olympics Campingninja hosted over 8000 campers from across 34 nations and for many volunteers and families it was a saving grace! Back again for Glasgow, Campingninja has set up campsites at community sports clubs around the City so that you can camp within easy access of all the major games venues, explore Glasgow, Edinburgh, Loch Lomond and lots of other spectacular Scottish sights without having to cram your visit into 2 days - and better still a significant chunk of the money raised goes back into grass roots sports! The cost to camp is currently £14 per night, £7 for children, that’s just £42 for a family of four and even less for volunteers. Karen Wilding, Glasgow Clydesider comments on camping:
“At first I decided to camp because the hotels and hostels were far too expensive. Then as I got used to the idea I think its the best idea I’ve ever had! Being on a site with lots of other volunteers will mean there will be at least 1 other person doing an early morning, plenty of people to talk to (I’m volunteering alone so don’t want to be too lonely!) and the atmosphere will be great.”
Lynne from the Wirral and her family commented on their London 2012 camping experience:
““We are not a family of campers so it was great that the tent was already erected and set up for us as soon as was arrived, the friendliness and assistance was first class, the breakfast was lovely and made a great start to our day. Big Thank You.”
So don’t be beaten by the hotel price hike and live the dream in 2014! Visit Scotland and all it has to offer, we hope to see you there www.campinginglasgow.com