Events sector outlines 4 key focuses for new London Mayor

Following Sadiq Khan's victory in the London Mayoral Election, event planners have highlighted infrastructure and security as some of the core issues to be addressed.

(©iStockphotos.com)
(©iStockphotos.com)

City promotion

In addition to making transport a key focus, Zibrant chairman, Nigel Cooper, said the new mayor should consider subsidising the promotion of business travel or the introduction of city taxes for visitors, which could help fund campaigns to drive visitors.

"A lot of other cities get funding and subsidies to promote themselves as a destination for business travel and events. Many also have a city tax," he explained. "We need to generate more money to promote London as a destination."

See also:

London mayoral candidates lack business focus, says events industry

70% of event planners would vote to stay in the EU

Infrastucture

Cooper added that the last administration spent a great deal on infrastructure, which had led to advances in the city. "I do hope the new mayor continues the investment into London’s infrastructure because it generates wealth for the city. That said, I do feel there needs to be a balance between spending on infrastructure and welfare - such as social housing."

Transport and security

Sam Robson, groups events director at The Appointment Group, said that London needed a mayor that was ‘pro-Europe and pro-business'. "I think we’ll see that in Sadiq. London is a truly cosmopolitan city and he represents that," she explained. "Overall I think the role of the London mayor is very important for the industry. I hope to see a renewed focus on transport improvements, particularly links from airports. We also need to invest in security to maintain our image as a safe city to visit if we are to keep attracting international groups."

Diversity

Michael Wyrley-Birch, COO EMEA of TRO, described London as a creative and diverse events centre.  "With the appointment of the new mayor we would hope that London will continue on this trajectory and beyond. Inclusivity and diversity are themes that have come through from the new mayor and these can only increase the richness of our capital." He added that he hoped that Khan’s focus on diversity would attract even more international companies to the city.

Cooper added that the results of the mayoral election could be an indicator of what was to come in the upcoming Brexit referendum. "Conservative candidate Zac Goldsmith ran a ‘fear-based’ rather than ‘policy-based’ campaign," he explained. "Londoners have reacted badly to this, choosing hope over fear. The pro-stay referendum campaign is also based on fear and I wonder if that will deter voters from choosing the ‘stay’ option." 

See more on the Brexit debate:

BREXIT: Will leaving the EU benefit the UK events industry? 

BREXIT: instability impact 

BREXIT: economic impact

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