Home to more than 250 international banks and top company HQs, the UK's capital recently climbed to fifth place in the International Congress and Convention Association's (ICCA) world city rankings, achieving a top-five position for the first time.
Gordon Innes, chief executive of London & Partners, said that although the UK population had voted to leave the EU, London would remain a welcoming city, attracting millions of visitors for both business and leisure.
"It is entirely possible that, emboldened by a mandate from the British people, a new UK Prime Minister can negotiate favourable terms for a future trading relationship with the EU and easy movement of tourists and skilled labour. It is entirely possible, too, that new trading relationships can be forged with economies that will be the powerhouses of world trade 20, 30, 40 years from now – which will open up new opportunities."
According to C&IT’s latest State of the Industry report, London is still a top destination with many event planners, with a spate of investment expected in the year to come.
"London is still the absolute beating capital of England and down to the huge number of hotels and event spaces currently being built I cannot see that changing in the foreseeable future," said Alex Hewitt, CEO of AOK Events.
In the last year, InterContinental Hotel Group opened one of the largest ballroom spaces inside a hotel on the North Greenwich peninsula, the Hilton London Bankside opened on Southwark’s ‘Design Trail’, and East London’s ‘Tech City’ welcomed its first luxury hotel, M by Montcalm Shoreditch.
In the next three years, London will see a further 19 five-star properties open its doors to C&I business, increasing the city’s current stock of luxury accommodation by nearly 25%.
Innes added that while people feel ‘bruised’ by the referendum result, they were still part of the city. "I am immensely proud to work for this great city and I stand fully alongside the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, when he says that we are committed to working ever more closely to build stronger alliances between cities across Europe and around the world."