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Visit London supports international convention centre

Visit London gives its full support to the ICC Commission’s recommendations to develop an international convention…

Visit London gives its full support to the ICC Commission’s recommendations to develop an international convention  centre in Central London. ‘It is our job at Visit London to drive economic benefit to London through business and leisure sales and marketing activity. Our sales team is out there everyday talking to Meeting and Event planners and winning business for London. Whilst the capital currently has a whole range of fantastic and unique venues for events of up to 1,500 delegates, it is clear to us that London does need a large purpose-built convention centre in central London. We have had some great successes this year with our partners. In particular, ExCel and Visit London have secured a number of major events for the capital in the coming years. However, our customers are telling us that a centrally located venue with capacity in the region of 3,000-5,000 is essential if London is to compete fully in this marketplace,’ Visit London’s Commercial Director David Hornby said.

The report which forms the basis of the recommendations says that the potential incremental economic benefit to London would be nearly £400m. It looks at the current international convention market, the demand for an ICC, the potential benefits and costs of developing one. The report took advice from customers and potential users from around the world – 80% of whom said that they would hold more meetings in London if a new facility was available.

It also received feedback from London `s business tourism industry including the Business Tourism Advisory Group (BTAG); a pre-eminent business tourism advisory body set up by Visit London in February 2004. Visit London`s convention sales team and enquiry service generated £43m worth of business for London in 2004 and has already confirmed £50m in the first six months of 2005. The team has more than doubled in the last year and it is set to continue growing to service the needs of the £3.2bn a year business travel market.

The ICC Commission, a mayoral initiative set up to investigate the potential for a new convention centre in 2004, announced its decision on Thursday 20.

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