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London hotels 'keeping up' with Brexit visitor surge

London & Partners' Tracy Halliwell says growing hotel supply is catering for 20 per cent rise in visitors

Pictured: London's growing hotels stock is keeping up with increased visitors, says London & Partners

London's growing hotel stock is keeping up with the post-Brexit surge of inbound visitors, with enquiries still up 21 per cent year on year, London & Partners' director of major events and business tourism has said.

The capital's growing property pipeline, which is projected to result in almost 18,000 more rooms by the end of 2018, is supporting the sudden rise of business and leisure tourists Tracy Halliwell said, who estimated hotel occupancy to be about 82 per cent.

The increase in business and leisure visitors has been the result of the weakening of the pound, with some estimates that it has saved international visitors as much as 20 per cent.

Speaking to M&IT at ibtm world, Halliwell said the growth of hotels and investment in infrastructure such as Crossrail and airport capacity, was supporting the influx.

"We're one of the best events destinations in the world but one negative we've always had is the costs. What Brexit has done is suddenly make London affordable again. A lot of the world has reacted to that and said let's book London now when the rates are reasonable," she said.

"We have been building hotels quite consistently over the last few years and so there has been the availability. The increase is being corresponded by the increase in hotel stock and things like Crossrail opening and bringing London closer together it means there's more options for people to spread out more."

Meanwhile, Halliwell said the bureau was continuing to support the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre (QEII) as remaining an events destination, instead of housing the House of Lords during the refurbishment of the Houses of Parliament, with behind the scenes work.

She said: "We're keen to mitigate any loss of venue space in London. We don't want to lose any more. We have been doing a lot behind the scenes feeding into the process. It's a key part of the London scene, it does bring in economic benefits to the destination and we don't want to lose any of that."

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