Why International Meetings are Shunning London

By | Category: Travel rumblings

Newly released figures from ICCA, (International Congress & Convention Association) show that London was only 19th in the list of destinations chosen for international meetings last year. And before you say that there aren’t many international meetings being held, the total list included 7,475 events! The market actually grew by 800 events yet London’s share of the market dropped. It had only 68 events, just under half that held by the two leaders, Paris and Vienna.
Overall, the UK secured 322 events in 2008, only about 80 less than the leader, Germany, so that overall the UK performs well.
But not London.
Could it be due to the high cost of hotel rooms? The cost of eating out? This might be an argument but Paris is pricey as I am finding out in supporting a daughter there! Is it due to a shortage of venues to hold big events? We have the aging Earl’s Court and Olympia along with the newer 02 Arena and Excel stuck out in the difficult and time consuming Docklands to get to. 254 events are held outside London which seems a bit disproportionate so there must be something about London that is offputting?
In some ways it could be the same things that put tourists off. You need to have something new or different. Is there a new leisure ride, a new exhibition, a new tourist attraction. After all, if you’re familiar with something there is a tendency not to return and maybe that’s a reason.
Whatever it is, the people at Visit London need to identify it because we need those tourists and these events to help the economy for all of us.

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