Online hotel booking service “pulls a fast one”

27 February 2011

An online hotel booking service is making exaggerated claims about tourists flocking to Cambridge for the annual Oxford-Cambridge boat race in an apparent attempt to drum up business.

Although the boat race takes place along the Thames in London, Directrooms.com, an ‘independent discount hotel reservations company’ established in 2000, is claiming: “Lots of people choose to stay in Cambridge’s dreaming spires and take a train into central London for the boat race day itself .”

The boat race, which takes place in March, apparently sees ‘the University town of Cambridge invaded by fans of the world famous Oxford – Cambridge XChanging Boat Race.’

Lek Boonlert, marketing head at DirectRooms.com, advises ‘booking online well in advance’ – presumably with DirectRooms.

Students have reacted with scorn to the hotel company’s claims.

A second year Christ’s student, said: “As far as I’m aware, no-one comes to Cambridge for the boat race. I’ve been to the boat race with my friends and we went to London.”

A staff member at The University Arms told The Cambridge Student: “I think they’re trying to pull a fast one. We get a lot for graduation, but not for the boat race.”

Elspeth Carruthers – Deputy News Editor

Photo: Getty Images