London’s 2012 focus benefits business tourism


VISIT London is to focus on the business tourism benefits for 2012 at EIBTM 2009.
It will be launching a number of new initiatives and benefits for international associations and conference planners.
The organisation’s role is to promote London, targeting domestic and overseas leisure and business visitors as well as Londoners, and works in partnership with the mayor, the London Development Agency and the tourism industry in London.
The main points to be discussed include Visit London stakeholders working together to create a joint and consistent approach to delivery of events for large groups, the introduction of a city wide accommodation charter involving all major hotel groups, partnerships with air and rail and group rates for associations plus new hotels, venues, restaurants and entertainment spaces coming on stream.
Barbara Jamison, European sales manager for Visit London said, “Even though there is a four year wait London’s business tourism industry is already seeing some major benefits. The overall mindset of the London stakeholders seems to have changed – all the hotels, transport, venues and production agencies are all working together to create a more joined up and consistent approach to delivery. There is an even greater understanding and willingness to work with and deliver events for large groups coming to London. This understanding and eagerness will only increase over the next four years, which is a fantastic legacy for London’s event industry.”
Jamison added, “At Visit London we have also tried to spearhead a number of industry wide initiatives which include a city wide accommodation charter. Although the charter is in the early planning stages it will include all major hotel groups to further unite London’s accommodation offer. It will also create more support for congresses as hoteliers will agree on a standard term of doing business, i.e. allocations, release dates, etc.”
Visit London have also been working closely with travel partners – engaging both air and rail in offering associations group rates. There have also been discussions regarding special offers with products such as Travel Oyster cards, which can be used on the majority of London’s public transport, and could be used as a sustainable and cost-effective travel option for groups.
The product offer is also a major benefit which the business industry has already started to benefit from. More businesses and services are being developed - gearing up for the 2012 Games - which in turn has strengthened London’s offer as a world-class destination.