Photo Credit: London Convention Bureau

The UK capital is set for an exciting year ahead

London is set for another blockbuster year of new openings in 2023, making it an even more attractive destination for event, meeting and incentive planners. From a range of exciting new hotel openings to brand-new venues and more sustainable options, the UK capital is set for an exciting year ahead.

The London Convention Bureau will be exhibiting at IMEX Frankfurt 2023 alongside 24 of the city’s best hotels, venues, DMCs and services. This year will also see London’s Deputy Mayor for Business, Rajesh Agrawal, join the London delegation. He will be connecting with event organisers and emphasising the importance of business tourism to London’s economy, as well as speaking at the 2023 Policy Forum.

New developments and hotel openings

London is home to a number of new developments and expanding neighbourhoods, such as Battersea Power Station, which reopened with a complete transformation in October 2022. In addition to an eclectic F&B and retail offering within the Power Station, the new development brings with it brand-new event spaces and vibrant hotels including art’otel.

2023 and beyond will welcome the opening of long-awaited international hotel brands, including The Peninsula London and Raffles’ first UK brand which opens at the OWO, on the historic royal site of Whitehall Palace.

Once home to the 2012 Summer Olympics, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in east London is launching its new cultural quarter East Bank, set to be home to world-renowned universities like UAL, plus the V&A, BBC and Sadler’s Wells. The area has also recently become home to the ABBA Arena, a custom-built venue hosting revolutionary virtual concerts.

Photo Credit: London Convention Bureau

Increasing venue capacity

In addition to new hotel and venue openings, London’s existing iconic venues like ExCeL London are currently undergoing major transformations to increase capacity. ExCeL is in the final stages of a £200 million, 25,000sqm expansion programme, set to open in October 2024. Next year will also see the regeneration of Olympia London, as it undergoes a £1bn project set to become the newest arts, culture, and entertainment district complete with a 4,400-capacity live music venue and a 1,575-seat theatre.

Greater connectivity

London is the most connected city in Europe, with six international airports and increasing slow and sustainable rail travel options. Its transport options will be boosted further this year with a series of new routes opening. The Eurostar connects London to Amsterdam, Brussels and Paris, and a new merger with Thalys now offers even greater connectivity to European cities. A new European Sleeper service will also be launched from 25th May 2023, taking visitors from Berlin to Brussels, with just a quick transfer to the Eurostar needed before arriving in London.

Within the city, the recently opened high-speed Elizabeth line has transformed the visitor experience, connecting Heathrow Airport with central London in just 30 minutes, with a number of venues including ExCeL London also located on the line. The new train line, which reported more than 125 million journeys in its first ten months, is set to also connect passengers in Essex and east London to Heathrow directly from 21st May 2023.

Photo Credit: London Convention Bureau

More sustainable options

The Mayor of London has set ambitious targets for London to reach net zero carbon by 2030 and a zero-waste city by 2050. London’s business tourism industry has big role to play in reaching these targets and is already home to 59 hotels and venues with Green Tourism accreditation. This June the city will also host London Climate Action Week, with over 40,000 attendees.

With revolutionary carbon-neutral event spaces like Oceandiva arriving in London in 2023, and world-famous venues like ExCeL London being the first UK venue to achieve carbon-neutral certification in 2022, London offers many sustainable venue options for event planners.

Tracy Halliwell MBE

Director of Tourism at the London Convention Bureau

Tracy Halliwell MBE, Director of Tourism, Conventions & Major Events at the London Convention Bureau, said: “London is a city that is constantly evolving and offering something new in addition to keeping its heritage and historical offer that visitors know and love. Improvements to our city’s infrastructure have not only made it easier to travel to and around London but also provide more sustainable travel options for delegates. We’re excited by the amount of quality new hotels and venues set to open in the next 12 months and these new developments offer further proof that London remains a top global destination to host your next meeting or event.”

Photo Credit: London Convention Bureau

“Not only has London’s events sector recovered, but it’s performing better than ever before with visitor numbers up 10% on 2019.”

James Rees, Executive Director at ExCeL London, said: “2023 is shaping up to be our busiest year yet – not only has London’s events sector recovered, but it’s performing better than ever before with visitor numbers up 10% on 2019. As we look to the future, the expansion of ExCeL and increasing connectivity options with the new Elizabeth line means we will be able to host more delegates and therefore more exciting and transformative events in London.”

Barbara Jamison, Head of Europe at the London Convention Bureau said, “Join one of our What’s New Presentations on stand F440 or meet with one of our 24 exhibiting partners for further insights. Find out how the London Convention Bureau can help support clients with new ideas, sustainable products and a lasting business event legacy.”

Learn more about the London Convention Bureau here.

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