Hotels are charging thousands of pounds more than normal to stay in Liverpool over the Eurovision period.
An investigation by MerseyNewsLive compared hotel and other short-term accommodation prices and revealed an eye-watering price hike.
Hotel prices were compared between the Eurovision week, May 9 to May 13, with a week in June and September each.
This investigation looked at a six-night stay focused on major hotels across Liverpool.
The results showed a sharp increase in prices
In one case, MerseyNewsLive found a private home offered for rental at £65,313.
With a capacity of four people, that’s only £10885.50 per night.
At least it comes with a free taxi from the airport.
Many hotels are still fully booked, usually the accommodation closest to the M&S Bank Arena, despite the enormous increase in cost.
Eurovision fan Keith Purcell said this was expected but disappointing.
He said: “Fully expecting hotels and even AirBnBs to more than double in price. Any large-scale event is typically exploited by local businesses.”
It’s as simple as supply and demand.”
But is pure economics to blame here?
There are numerous reports of pre-booked hotels cancelling around May.
Hotel booking for Eurovision cancelled by the accommodation provider claiming a poor excuse as to why they had to cancel- even though they happily took my booking before Eurovision was annouced in Liverpool – I smell something 🐟
— Smarry (@HarryJ_Matthews) February 14, 2023
@BBCWatchdog @bookingcom @suiteshotel – Had my room for Eurovision cancelled without a reason (booked w/ confirmation email 07/10) phoned up desk, no one was available to help me (https://t.co/FT1gmDQ4Pk or Hotel) told that hotel not taking bookings for next year? What's going on pic.twitter.com/vtstXrjqVl
— Catweazle 🇸🇪🇨🇿🇫🇮🇲🇹🇷🇸 (@roseynick) October 24, 2022
The Liverpool Echo also reported a similar incident in October when a man had his booking cancelled and then found it was relisted for 4 times the original price.
Speaking to MerseyNewsLive, Roz Golds, spokesperson for Premier Inn said it was a matter of increased demand and a dynamic pricing system that results in the higher prices.
She said: “In line with industry standard our pricing is dynamic. This means that it fluctuates according to demand, so the more people book a hotel, the price will climb.
“Unlike many however, we set a cap to ensure prices always remain affordable. So we’d always encourage people to plan ahead where they can and choose the right rate for them.”
However, those in the Liverpool City Council aren’t entirely happy to leave accommodation pricing to economic chance.
City mayor Joanne Anderson spoke out ahead of a meeting with BBC director-general Tim Davie.
She said: “It’s not acceptable. I know hotels do it, but I don’t think it’s on, especially with the silly prices we’ve seen.
“Eurovision is a great thing for our city and we don’t want to see people exploited.”
“I don’t agree with the hiked prices but then when you consider the ticket allocation and pricing they are way out of the general public’s threshold.
“The city should have made provisions during the bidding process about costs.
“I suspect we will see hiked prices in all areas, which would be shameful.”
Gary Dully, 64, another AirBnB Superhost, was very critical of hotels and hosts who raised their prices but said he understood the motives.
Gary is also concerned that short-term rentals are more vulnerable than bigger businesses.
He said: “Hotels have a fiduciary duty to make the best returns for their shareholders, it’s a legal obligation, so they don’t have much choice.
“They are the necessary evil we co-exist with, because without them, you’d be paying for a ‘closed shop’ industry and practice of ‘nickel and diming’.
“I shouldn’t worry as the market is frighteningly fierce and very competitive, if I overprice I won’t get booked or a guest will cancel and get their money back.
“It’s a brave permanent host that tries to be an opportunist, so I think that an increase in cost is a gamble.”