London ranked number one for US business visits
Businesspeople from the US travelled to London more than any other international city around the world last year, a new study has revealed.
The capital saw off competition from cities in the Far East, North America and Europe to top the list, based on the number of hotel nights stayed by US visitors on business, compiled by expenses specialist Concur.
London was followed by Shanghai and Singapore, while Beijing and Toronto were also in the top five global business destinations of 2011.
The capital’s European rivals Paris and Amsterdam trailed in seventh and 13th respectively, suggesting that restricted air capacity in the South East was not yet weighing down on London’s competitiveness.
Gordon Innes, CEO of London & Partners, the promotional organisation for London, said: “London’s wealth of business and cultural benefits, from its connectivity and access to markets, to its location at the centre of the world’s time zones, plus the opportunities around the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, make it an ideal business destination.
“London is one of the most inspirational and diverse capitals on the globe and over the next six months the world’s spotlight will be firmly placed on our great city, and we are determined to stay as the world’s capital of business.”
Of the 25 global cities included in the survey, London was the sixth most expensive when it came to spending on hotels, dining and entertainment on corporate travel. Tokyo, Copenhagen, Sydney and Stockholm worked out to be more costly for US travellers on business.
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Corporate visitors spent an average of $185.11 (£113.86) on car rental, $56.46 (£34.75) on dining and $162.69 (£100.12) on entertainment, according to the study, which used database consisting of more than 15 million corporate users.
US visitors also spent an average of $51.72 (£31.93) on ground transport and $249.83 (£153.73) on accommodation.
London & Partners is determined to keep US businesspeople coming back to the capital.
Innes said: “Many US organisations harness London’s vitality to meet, do business in and expand their companies - they view London as an ideal destination with the same language, similar strong business ethos and an ideal gateway to the rest of Europe.
“For those who need to network through conferences, seminars or highly-focused business meetings, London always delivers. Many businesses also look to the UK’s capital to also hold incentive business events, as London offers some remarkable ideas to reward high-performers. But above all, London is a constant source of inspiration.”
Innes believes investment has been key in cementing London’s position as the number one choice for US visitors.
He said: “By this summer, over £11bn worth of investment will have taken place across the city and with that size of economic investment comes a long-term confidence in a city, one which business visitors will benefit from both in the run up to, during and after the Olympic Games.”