The five day congress (3-7 September) will see 22,000 ERS delegates come to the city to share their knowledge, and is expected to provide a £73 million boost to London’s business tourism sector.
London is one of the world’s leading cities for medical and life science conferences. Last year the city played host to a number of major congresses, including ERA/EDTA (European Renal Association/European Dialysis and Transplant Association) and the European Society of Cardiology congress, which helped secure the capital’s position in the top five of the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) rankings. In 2015 more than 3.7 million people travelled to London for business, spending more than £4 billion.
Tracy Halliwell MBE, Director of Business Tourism and Major Events at London & Partners, the official convention bureau for the city, said: “The European Respiratory Society congress is one of the most prestigious congresses in the world and we are honoured that the Society chose London for its 2016 edition. This is testament to London’s attractiveness as a meetings and events destination and as a centre of excellence for medicine and life sciences. We look forward to welcoming delegates for what I am sure will be a very successful event.”
ERS Congress Chair Professor Peter Barnes said: “London is a fitting choice for the 26th ERS International Congress as a city that boasts a proud history of scientific innovation and medical discoveries. As one of the best-respected conference venues and one of the London 2012 Olympic venues, we felt the ExCeL London was the ideal location for the largest respiratory conference in the world.”
James Rees, Executive Director, ExCeL London, said: “We are excited to be opening the doors of ExCeL London and our International Convention Centre to the many thousands of delegates who will attend the European Respiratory Society congress this week. In partnership with London, it is our aspiration to host the very best events in the world and the ERS congress represents the leading event in its field. We are honoured to be working with the ERS team to deliver a truly world-class event.”
Alongside the congress, the European Respiratory Society will also be running public events to raise awareness of the importance of respiratory health. This will include a lung health event run by the Healthy Lungs for Life campaign, which will take place on Trafalgar Square from 2nd - 3rd September and where Londoners and visitors will be able to test their lungs as well as learning more about lung health.
In recent years, London has welcomed a string of high-profile medical congresses, such as the European Association for the Study of the Liver (EASL) congress in 2014 and the European Federation of Periodontology congress in 2015. Earlier this year, London’s Convention Bureau also announced that the European Association of Urology would be returning to London after almost 30 years for its 2017 congress.