Brexit may wreck London for business travel

london, brexit, reputation, Khan, euromonitor, cities, eu, stockholm


City in danger of losing reputation to Stockholm, among others

Because of Brexit, London is in danger of losing its reputation as a great place to do business, according to research on behalf of World Travel Market London.

This year’s Top 100 City Destination list by business intelligence firm Euromonitor says that London is a globally recognised leisure and business hub, with the city creating more than €475 billion in value added during 2016. But its attractiveness for business services is under pressure post-Brexit.

“Brexit threatens to undermine London’s dominant position for ease of doing business and its attractiveness as a start-up hub,” claims the report. “Competing cities that have emerged to steal its crown include Paris, Frankfurt, Berlin, Stockholm, Dublin and Amsterdam, based on transport connections, diversity and creative spirit.”

Around 20% of all inbound arrivals to London and over 30% of spending in the city are business-related. Business travellers spend twice the amount their leisure counterparts do. London Mayor Sadiq Khan has launched a major campaign, #LondonIsOpen, to show the city is united, welcoming and open to the world for business following the EU referendum.

This campaign is “critical to ensuring the message is heard loud and clear so that business continues”, the report states.

Tax cut and new routes
The warnings in the Euromonitor report are shared by other travel industry players, including the campaign group A Fair Tax on Flying, which has been calling on the British government to make a decisive cut in Air Passenger Duty, so that new routes can be opened up to emerging markets after Brexit.

With the UK government triggering Article 50 in March 2017, the country will need to leave the EU by March 2019 in line with regulations. The impact of Brexit on business travel to London and the rest of the UK depends on the final deal. Euromonitor warns that, even if a free trade agreement is reached, there will be other regulatory and non-tariff trade barriers, as well as the potential loss of passport rights for the financial sector.

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