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Organizers of Tokyo’s 2020 Olympic bid vowed to work with hotels and the tourism industry to ensure an adequate supply of hotel rooms at various rates.
“Tokyo Metropolitan Government plans to collaborate with hotel industry groups and travel agents to form a liaison council to ensure this wide range of reasonably-priced accommodation options is available to meet the individual needs of visitors,” a statement from the bid committee said.
The comment was in response to a report from the International Olympic Committee yesterday that raised concerns about accommodation prices as Tokyo vies for the games. The Lausanne, Switzerland-based group will pick the host of the 2020 summer Olympics on Sept. 7.
The IOC said it was concerned about the “guaranteed maximum” hotel rates in Tokyo that would be as much as $1,634 per night for a double room in a five-star hotel and $571 in a three-star hotel. The average daily rate for hotels in Tokyo in May was $155.91, according to data compiled by STR Global, a hotel industry researcher.
Tokyo is the favorite to be awarded the Olympics for the first time since 1964, with all seven bookmakers listed on the oddschecker.com website. Istanbul is the second-favorite and Madrid is the outsider, according to the website.
The price difference between a single and double room in Tokyo was as wide as $944, the commission’s report said. The Tokyo 2020 bid committee responded that a single room usually consists of a single bed while a double room price would apply regardless of whether the room was occupied by one or two people, according to the report.
“As we see it, the concern has already been addressed,” said Shinichi Morozumi, a director at the planning division of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government in charge of accommodation for the city’s Olympic bid. “Our proposal has been well received, so we don’t plan to make any changes at this point.”
On top of hotel rates in Tokyo, the evaluation of cities bidding to host the 2020 summer Olympics raised issues including traffic congestion in Istanbul and the ability of Madrid to raise sponsorship. The report was compiled by an IOC committee that visited the three cities in March.
Madrid’s estimated top rates were the cheapest of the three cities at between $626 for a five-star hotel and $218 for so- called budget accommodation including 3,000 university campus rooms.
The report said there was clear backing of Tokyo’s bid by Japanese business leaders.
The committee was “cautious” about whether Madrid can meet its target of raising $694 million in sponsorships in Spain. The country is in the sixth year of an economic slump.
Madrid could also face challenges in turning landmark locations such as the Las Ventas bullring and Retiro Park into venues, according to the report.
In Istanbul, it said there’s a “high” risk of traffic congestion because of plans to stage sports in the European and Asian sides of the city. The Turkish city’s estimates for travel time to venues — it says no trip will take more than 40 minutes — were “somewhat optimistic.”
Istanbul’s plan for security is “adequate,” although a proposal to recruit 20,000 private security staff could be a challenge, according to the report, which was finalized on April 19 before a wave of anti-government protests.
Demonstrations against Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s administration erupted in late May in frustration over what protesters say is his increasingly authoritarian conduct and attempts to impose Islamic ways on the country.
With assistance from Alex Duff in Madrid. Editors: Iain Wilson, Tomoko Yamazaki. To contact the reporters on this story: Kathleen Chu in Tokyo at firstname.lastname@example.org; Katsuyo Kuwako in Tokyo at email@example.com. To contact the editor responsible for this story: Christopher Elser at firstname.lastname@example.org.