Global Business Travel to UK Rises in 2010

Thursday 21 October 2010

Dubai, United Arab Emirates

The number of business travellers heading to the UK from around the world has risen by three percent this year so far compared with the previous year, according to figures released by VisitBritain ahead of this year’s Business Travel Show in Dubai.

Data show that 4.3 million business executives arrived in Britain between January and end-August 2010, up from around 4.175million for the same period in 2009 – a year which saw a steady decline in global business travel to the UK as a result of the economic downturn. The figures indicate that visitor numbers have still to return to their pre-recession levels.

A country-specific breakdown of figures for Q1 show that business travel between the UAE and the UK rose by 16 percent in the first three months of the year, with 11,639 individuals arriving in Britain from the Emirates in Q1 2010 compared with 10,070 in Q1 2009. Indicators for Q2 show this rise has stabilised.

“It is great to see that globally business travel to the UK has picked up after last year’s slowdown which was a direct result of the global economic crisis. We are predicting that this trend will continue to the end of the year and into 2011.The high numbers of people continuing to visit Britain from the UAE for business purposes proves that commerce between the two countries is a strong as ever,” said Carol Maddison, UAE Manager for VisitBritain.

VisitBritain is exhibiting at the Business Travel Show alongside Virgin Atlantic, which flies daily from Dubai to London, and Morgans Hotel Group which owns some of Britain’s most original and stylish urban hotels including London’s St Martins Lane hotel and the Sanderson. Also on the stand will be representatives from the luxury Radisson Edwardian hotel group that prides itself on serving “Just British” food and its Middle East partner London’s famous May Fair Hotel.

Delegates attending the show will be able access a comprehensive range of information of what’s on offer for business people heading to the UK, as well as being able to talk to representatives from the four organisations for a more detailed account of the accommodation, events, attractions and travel designed for international executives.

"Partnering with Virgin Atlantic, Morgans Hotel Group and Radisson Edwardian at this year’s Business Travel Show gives us a unique opportunity to showcase the UK, not only as a great leisure destination, but also as a destination where business and leisure can be combined,” said Maddison.

“We will be showcasing all that the UK has to offer business executives from the best air travel to hotel accommodation and business-focused events and attractions. We will also be able to discuss travel trade education as part of our ongoing programme to cement Britain’s position as a must-visit destination for business travellers,” she added.

“The conference will give us a great platform to showcase our airline and to meet friends and business colleagues from the region to discuss opportunities whereby Virgin Atlantic can play a significant role in boosting corporate travel from the UAE to the UK,” commented Andrew Fyfe, Virgin Atlantic’s Regional Manager for the Middle East.

“Morgans Hotel Group is looking forward to attending this year’s Business Travel Show in Dubai to highlight to regional business executives our unique properties, St Martins Lane; an original urban hotel that takes the "Hotel as Theatre" concept to a new level, and Sanderson, which boasts a spectacularly landscaped interior courtyard that opens to the sky and is surrounded by guestrooms,” said Oscar Fricke, Director of Sales, Morgans Hotel Group.

“Radisson Edwardian’s 11 properties represent a selection of London’s most exceptional hotels and locations both for business and leisure travellers, while the May Fair, one of the city’s landmark properties provides the type of luxury and suite accommodation that many business clients seek in London,” said Mona Faraj, Managing Partner of Insights, an Abu Dhabi based company handling regional sales and marketing for Radisson Edwardian and the May Fair Hotel.

The joint VisitBritain, Virgin Atlantic, Morgans Hotel Group and Radisson Edwardian Hotels stand can be found at 313/317 of the Business Travel Show which is taking place on October 25 -26 at the Madinat Arena, Madinat Jumeirah Conference Centre, Dubai.

For more information contact:

VisitBritain Media Team

pressandpr@visitbritain.com

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