London & Partners, the destination marketing organization for the British capital, saw a major increase in inquiries from U.S. planners following the British pound's drop in value in the wake of the U.K.'s vote in June to leave the European Union. In the two months following the so-called Brexit vote, the DMO reports it had a 66 percent jump in inquiries from U.S. buyers, compared with the same period in 2015. A number of London suppliers also have reported an increase in requests from planners to settle the cost of their events up front to take advantage of the favorable exchange rate.
Among those suppliers is Brona Kelly, director of sales and marketing at Maybourne Hotel Group. "Following Brexit, London hotels have seen a surge of bookings across the city, and our three hotels within Maybourne have been particularly busy following the referendum," she said. "We have seen a specific increase in suite business from the North American market, which is no doubt due to the slight dip in sterling allowing U.S. travelers to receive more for their dollar during their visit to London." Kelly added that her hotels also have experienced an increased demand in clients preferring to prepay for their event bookings in order to lock in competitive exchange rates.
Paul Miller, managing director at Spectra DMC, also has seen a boom. "The fact that London is now a better value for the money has definitely had an impact on Spectra's activity this summer," he said. "Following the result of the referendum, we received an unprecedented surge of new inquiries, both from outside and inside the EU, for sizable conferences and meetings for later this year and early 2017. Thanks to the exchange rate going down, clients also have been willing to pay more substantial deposits."