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Leading London venue collections, Unique Venues of London (UVL) and The Westminster Collection (TWC), have partnered to raise awareness of the need for continued business tourism funding in the capital.
The partnership has resulted in a joint piece of business tourism research, the first of its kind to be carried out across both organisations, providing consolidated information from over 100 London venues.
The research, which was a TWC initiative supported by UVL, will assist Visit London, Westminster City Council, The Mayor's Office and the recently formed London Business Tourism Group to illustrate to the government that business tourism is an important sector that warrants its resources.
Each of these organisations is vital to both UVL and TWC, and the aim is to enable them to continue the great work they do in this sector by highlighting that their support is essential to a thriving industry and lobbying for their funding to continue.
Key highlights of the research show that 79% of venues have seen lead times continue to remain short, but are showing delegate numbers are remaining steady in the majority of venues (53%).
Whilst 55% of venues recorded a reduction in corporate bookings in 2009, both organisations believe the corporate market will be the strongest in 2011, followed closely by private events.
Revenue from the public sector remained the same but, given the announcement of budget cuts across all government departments, it is highly likely business in this area will be affected for each organisation’s members.
René Dee, CEO of TWC comments: “This business survey represents my belief that, in producing more meaningful and up to date research for our particular sector, this will help to guide us in future decision making about how London promotes itself in this vital area. In sustaining the known and greater value generated by business tourism, versus leisure tourism, we hope this will be a positive move in highlighting the importance of our sector”.
Lisa Hatswell, Chairman of UVL and Sales and Corporate Events Manager at The Merlin Entertainments London Eye, adds: “Whilst it is undeniable that the recent recession has seen some venues struggle in the marketplace, this survey does highlight the confidence in the corporate market moving forwards and the fundamental role of Visit London et al. It is therefore crucial that venues like ours, alongside key industries bodies, continue to express the need for funding in the capital and ensure that business tourism can continue to grow”.
TWC and UVL aim to develop other joint surveys on a regular basis.