The city has climed to become the fifth most popular conferencing city in the UK, according to this year’s British Meetings and Events Industry survey (BMEIS). The annual national survey provides a comprehensive overview of buying trends in the UK conference and events industry, including insight from hundreds of buyers across the association business and corporate sectors.
Business tourism drove around four million delegates to the city in 2015, contributing £501 million to the local economy per year.
The industry report highlights the continued strength of the top three cities: London, Birmingham and Manchester, but also showcases the growth and recognition of Leeds as a leading conference destination. The top factors cited as influencing the selection of destinations included access, price and capacity of conference facilities such as Leeds arena.
Councillor Judith Blake, Leader of Leeds City Council, said: “Once again Leeds is proving that we’re a city that doesn’t stand still.
“We know how much hard work goes in to developing business tourism across Leeds and these results showcase this on a national scale. Both leisure and business tourism in the city are growing at a truly impressive rate, with Leeds becoming increasingly recognised as a fantastic destination to host world-class conferences and events.”
Jennifer Young, Head of ConferenceLeeds, said: “For Leeds to be achieving such results without the benefit of a large convention centre in the city truly sets it apart from its competitors.
“We were also pleased to see recognition in the BMEIS results for the important role that conference ambassadors play in conferences and events.”