London is one of the world's most populous cities, as well as one of the most popular. But it's as important to visit for businesses of all kinds as it is to sightseers looking to scope out the Old Bailey or Big Ben, due to its status as a center of global finance. Recent data bears out the conclusion that London is now the most popular destination for business travelers. Let's take a look at some of these findings and see if they pertain to your line of work. If so, you might be in need of a last minute flight to the U.K.'s capital sooner rather than later!
Vast majority of business travelers have visited London
According to Heathrow Express - which, among other things, runs the express train between Paddington Station and Heathrow International Airport - a whopping 85 percent of business travelers have visited London for business. This included 2,424 travelers from the U.S., U.K. and Germany, working within the energy, finance, legal, manufacturing and pharmaceutical industries.
Finance, naturally, has historically been the dominant sector, with more individuals in this field doing business in London than any other. Yet energy companies' interest in London - and the U.K. at large - has increased significantly in the wake of Brexit.
As far as travel purposes go, it's about what you'd expect: A vast majority - 47 percent - of those traveling to London for work did so in the interest of attending an industry conference.
British employees were on the go more frequently than American or German business travelers, making 3.1 international trips a year by comparison to 2.1 for both the U.S. and Germany. Interestingly, though, only 3 of the 10 corporations that Business Travel News ranked as spending the most on corporate air travel in 2016 - PricewaterhouseCoopers, EY and McKinsey and Co. - are England-based, all of them in London.
To network or to bleisure?
It's clear that British professionals in all walks of life travel at a frequent clip, and Americans aren't far behind. But as far as what they spend their downtime doing, that varies to a certain extent.
Exhibition World reported that 95 percent of business travelers believe in the value of in-person interactions when forging substantive business relationships. However, not all of them choose to use their spare time for networking - at least not those hailing from the U.K. The news provider stated that approximately one-third of British employees extend their jaunts into the weekend to make room for some leisure time amid the business - hence the colloquialism "bleisure." It's entirely up to you to decide how your business trip is spent, but be sure to use it wisely, one way or the other.