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London rises among global business tourism rankings

London’s recent run of high-profile events has elevated England’s capital city among the world’s top-ranked business and conventions destinations.

New figures published by the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) show London has continued its ascent of world rankings as a major center for business tourism, and local officials plan to capitalize on that momentum.

“The news is the result of the hard work of London’s venues, hotels and wider events industry, and of the entire team at London & Partners Convention and Visitors Bureau, who work tirelessly to attract, bid for and deliver hundreds of events across the capital each year,” said Gordon Innes, CEO, London & Partners. “London’s meetings and events proposition is improving, and London & Partners is absolutely focused on leveraging last year’s Olympic showcase to grow the events and meetings industry in the coming months. We have set our sights on entering the top five next year.”

Last year, in addition to hosting the Olympics and Paralympic Games, London hosted a record number of global business events, which has elevated the city’s status to sixth place globally. The city also recently secured some of the most prestigious medical congresses and annual general meetings.

The ICCA report shows London ahead of global competitors, such as New York, Beijing, Hong Kong, Chicago and Sydney, while overtaking some of its closer European rivals, such as Rome, Athens, Munich, Brussels and Edinburgh. The ICCA rankings are collated and published annually.

The continued rise for London has taken place over the last five years, which in 2008 saw London at 19th position. The Mayor of London then tasked his promotional organization London & Partners and the official convention bureau to create a dedicated team to target, bid for and win major business events for London.

As a result, over the last 12 months London has announced a series of major congress wins. This includes the leading medical associations, EASL, which will host its 2014 conference at ExCeL London. The five-day event is expected to bring some 10,000 medical professionals to the capital. Last October, London also announced the biggest ever congresses win for The European Society of Cardiology (ESC) in 2015. The ESC Congress is the largest cardiology meeting in the world and will see around 35,000 medical professionals descend on the capital for five days in 2015.

“London’s popularity as a host for major business events continues to rise thanks to a concerted effort to capture more of the fiercely competitive business tourism market,” said Mayor Boris Johnson. “We have the expertise, the transport system, venues and accommodation to ensure these events will receive a world-class experience. The city’s extraordinary success in hosting last year’s Olympic and Paralympic Games will only build on this success.”

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