My business travel view, “2012 Olympics in London Provides Long-Term Opportunities for Business Travel and Meetings” explores this in more depth.

We know that London is popular for its leisure tourism — experiencing its history, museums, parks, theaters, shopping and restaurants. However, the benefits of considering London for business travel and meetings shouldn’t be overlooked. And they’re not.

The United Kingdom (UK) was the fifth most popular country for international association meetings in 2009, according to data from ICCA, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. But it’s the work that’s happening in preparation for the 2012 Olympic Games — transportation, regeneration and sustainability — that will set the benchmark international business travel to the UK’s capital post-Olympics.

These commitments are likely to only increase London’s chances for being selected as host to more corporate meetings and association conferences. It also doesn’t hurt that business travelers find other reasons to be in London: roughly 40 percent of overseas business travelers extended their stay in 2009, according to the London Visitor Survey.

While 55% of all visitors typically stay somewhere in central London, overseas visitors on business trips tend to spend their time in Westminster (72%), Kensington & Chelsea (27%) and the Tower Hamlets (26%).

Other factors contributing to London’s favorable prospects in for business travel and meetings include:

  • London travel remained during the economic downturn in 2009.
  • Volume of international meetings planned in London pre- and post Olympics.
  • Currently favorable exchange rate for the Pound Sterling.

Learn more about why London may increase its reputation as an international meetings city.

Business Travel Video: London 2012 Update

Originally Published May 19, 2010