From June to September this year, the CVB saw a 22 per cent jump in enquiries from the EMEA market, compared to the same period last year.
A number of suppliers, including Spectra DMC, Rosewood London and InterContinental London – The O2, have also experienced an increase in enquiries and planners have been requesting to settle the cost of their events upfront due the fall in the value of the pound following the referendum results.
Paul Miller, Managing Director at Spectra DMC, said: “The fact that London is now better value for money has definitely had an impact on Spectra’s activity this summer. Following the result of the referendum we received an unprecedented surge of new enquiries, both from outside and inside the EU, for sizeable conferences and meetings for later this year and early 2017. Thanks to the exchange rate going down, clients have also been willing to pay more substantial deposits.”
Julian Haddon, Regional Director of Sales and Marketing, Europe Rosewood Hotel Group, said: “Much has been said and written about Brexit and what happens next, but the reality is that we haven’t seen any significant impact on Rosewood London. Both leisure and business guest numbers for September were up on forecast, enquiries are strong and there is still huge global appetite for people from all over the world to visit the UK.”
Hasham Soliman, General Manager, InterContinental London – The O2 said: “The drop in the value of the pound has certainly helped see an increase in inbound enquires from both the Chinese and middle eastern markets and the hotel saw a strong pick up in August.”
Rob Russell, owner of AC Tours DMC, said: “Immediately after the referendum, we saw a desire to prepay for forthcoming events to make the most of the decreasing value of the UK currency. Subsequent business levels have certainly increased from international visitors and we are going into the winter season seeing an increasing number of large group requests with very short lead in times. We recently had an event for a group of 100 people book and travel within a window of 10 days.”
London’s CVB saw a 41 per cent increase in enquiries between June and September this year compared to the same period in 2015, with enquiries from the EMEA market accounting for 29 per cent of the total.
Enquiries from the USA also went up by 22 per cent this summer, while domestic enquiries jumped up by 83 per cent.
In recent years, London has been welcoming a string of high profile corporate and association events, such as HPE Discover, TechCrunch Disrupt Europe, AdWeek Europe and the European Respiratory Society congress.
Looking ahead, the British capital will also be hosting other key major events such as the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference and the European Association of Urology congress in 2017 and Sibos in 2019.
This summer, London’s CVB launched its own version of the city-wide #LondonIsOpen campaign, which aims to provide information to event planners looking to host their events in London.
Barbara Jamison, Head of Business Development Europe at London & Partners, the official convention bureau for the city, said: “This summer has been a very busy one for our convention bureau and it’s great to see that London is as appealing as ever to meeting planners from all over the globe. With the city being better value for money, there’s never been a better time to host an event in London. Europe is one of our key market and in the next few months we’ll be planning more activity in different countries such as France, Germany and Russia to show that London is, and will remain, open for business.”
Clients visiting London in the upcoming months will be able to experience a raft of new venues such as Switch House, the newly opened Tate Modern extension, the new Design Museum, opening up in November in Kensington, west London and the first Smith & Wollensky restaurant outside the US, located in London’s West End.
Visit London & Partners at booth #2416 at IMEX Las Vegas to find out more about hosting your event in London.