Association Business UK: From the Editor

The benefit of association business is felt everywhere. Britain's tourism industry is worth around £74bn a year. According to the London Visitor Index, overseas visits to the capital in the first quarter of 2005 rose by 13.8% compared with the same period in 2004, and spending was up 14.3%. International visitor arrivals to the rest of the UK for the first six months of this year similarly showed a 12.4% increase on 2004's record levels, while spending was up 12.1%.

The growth of association event business is undoubtedly one of the key drivers behind these impressive figures. London alone staged 44 association events last year, which comprised more than 85,000 delegates and contributed in excess of £75.5m in tourism revenue. This figure is set to rise and across the whole of the UK venues are actively doing more to attract association business, both from this country and abroad, in order to reap the benefits it brings to the local economy.

The importance of association business to the UK event and tourism industries has prompted Event to produce this special supplement.

Our aim is to help you to maximise not only your show's potential but also to get the best from your chosen venue, while gaining inspiration from other association events via a selection of case studies.

Association event business is an important string to a venue's bow, so don't hold back from involving the venue at every stage of your decision-making process. They can help with hotel accommodation, hospitality and pre-arranged familiarisation excursions. Venues will also be happy to negotiate the most suitable tenancy and support, to ensure that your event is not only a key highlight in the business calendar year, but also impacts on a UK tourism industry that, with your help, will continue to go from strength to strength.

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