European meetings and event planners continue to think of London as the most connected business hub on the continent, according to an analysis of booking data.
London & Partners, the official convention bureau for the city, says a host of new hotels, venues, restaurants, incentive experiences and transport links are helping to strengthen the UK capital’s Meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions offering.
And data from the city’s largest conference venue, ExCeL, shows the city remains a “hot spot” for European planners, with a 25 per cent uplift in bookings so far this year. London & Partners says 2019 will continue to be a big year for the capital’s Meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions industry.
Research commissioned by the bureau shows London serves more European and global flight destinations than any other European city. According to RDC Aviation, which analyses city flight data, the capital has direct air connections to 401 cities around the world and more connections with Europe than any other city on the continent.
This is strengthened by a rail link to Europe via Eurostar, and the bureau says this will only be boosted by the opening of the Elizabeth line, which has been pushed back to 2021, as well as an extension to the Underground’s Northern line to the redeveloped Battersea Power Station.
The London Contention Bureau is partnering with the Paris Convention and Visitors Bureau to enable the two cities to offer a new range of two-in-one incentive travel products.
Barbara Jamison, head of business tourism for Europe at London & Partners, said: “London is a truly global city and our strong links with Europe and the rest of the world make it a top destination to host an international conference or event. We’re excited to see the fantastic range of new venues, restaurants and hotels opening across the city. From blank canvas warehouse spaces and trendy pop-ups to purpose-built meeting rooms, conference centres and state-of-the-art auditoriums, London is a place where creative and innovative event ideas and concepts thrive.”