Olympic pricing charter set for launch

The supplier pricing charter for the 2012 Olympics being headed by Visit London is on track to be unveiled by the opening of this year’s Beijing games in August, it was announced at Confex this afternoon. The Fair Pricing and Practice Charter is being backed by industry associations such as Eventia, MIA and ISES as well as the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG), Visit London and Visit Britain. Speaking to C&IT, Visit London commercial director David Hornby said: “The world’s largest event is coming to the capital and we want London to be an exemplar host. One of our main objectives is to boost the amount of events in London and the UK before, during and after the games. London and Britain are often challenged on value and it’s therefore vital that in the run up we don’t send out the wrong messages.” The charter is set to establish fair trading principles, although it stops short of demanding exact pricing restrictions. “Venues and other suppliers want to have a relationship with partners long after the games are over. If they are seen to be gouging people by suddenly increasing prices by four or five times, it’s not good for them as a brand, brand London or brand UK,” Hornby said. Despite the lack of specific price controls, Hornby was confident the charter has teeth: “If there is a letter on the wall stating that an organisation has signed up to the charter, there is a very high likelihood that they and their staff are going to deliver on that,” he added. To add weight to the charter, Hornby said he envisages the setting up of a steering group that corporate and brands partners can go to with any disputes on price and practices. The next stage of the charter’s development will see the industry associations and other trade partners go to their memberships to seek backing for the concept. The charter will then be finalised in time for Beijing and Visit London and LOCOG will start an awareness programme aimed at corporates later this year. To encourage its members to sign up, Hornby confirmed that Visit London will be giving a higher profile to those that are on board in terms of which companies it recommends to corporate enquirers.

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