Booked Your Flotel Room for the London Olympics?

The organisers of the London Olympics are considering floating hotels, dubbed “flotels”, to accommodate visitors to the capital who would be up for staying somewhere a bit different.

The idea is for three or more cruise liners with onboard hotel rooms to be moored on the River Thames three miles from the Olympic Park in Stratford, and the unusual accommodation would offer visitors a completely unique experience during their stay in London.

The capital is already bracing for the 5.5 million plus visitors expected to come to the city for next summer’s Games and the tourist board VisitLondon predicts that around a million of those guests will be looking for somewhere to stay. Already, tourist agencies say it looks likely there will be a shortage of hotel rooms while London basks in the global spotlight, and some visitors may have to pay up to ten times the usual rate for a hotel room.

A similar concept was used by the German company One Ocean Club when it chartered flotels during the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa. Ships were stationed off the South African coast for the duration of the football.

There’s now just under a year to go till the games start and official partner British Airways is already counting down with specially branded aircraft and an expensive ad campaign. The airline is already running ads to promote its £40m sponsorship of the Games (it’s one of the biggest ad campaigns in the airline’s history).

It’s interesting that BA has chosen to go with print and online advertising – but not TV.

The first part of the 2012 Olympics ad campaigns will feature celebrities including Heston Blumenthal, Richard E Grant and Tracey Emin. BA is running a competition for aspiring chefs, scriptwriters and artists to work with these celebrity mentors and the winning entrants will design a special Olympic menu for BA planes, write a short film that will air in-flight and be shown at the Games’ stadium, and design a “celebration aircraft”.

BA has confirmed that the Olympics are its largest sponsorship campaign of all time. It is a major sponsor of Bafta, London Fashion Week and Taste of London and has also sponsored major sports events such as the British and Irish Lions Rugby Union Tour.

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