The Olympics organising committee is to return 20 per cent of rooms it had reserved for media, sports federations, the IOC and sponsors over the London 2012 Games, totalling over 120,000 room nights at 200 hotels across the capital.

Locog said the rooms range from five-star to budget hotels, and CEO Paul Deighton said that he hoped the move would “enable the hotels to continue with their planning for this summer as we all work together to stage a spectacular Games”.

“The hotel industry in London got behind the bid to stage the Games in the most extraordinary way and that support helped us across the line,” said Deighton. “We always promised that we would not hold on to hotel rooms we didn’t need but return them to the individual hotels at the beginning of 2012.”

Visit Britain has welcomed the announcement, calling it “great news for overseas visitors wishing to come to the UK to experience the Olympics and all the other wonderful festivities that are taking place over the summer”.

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