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ExCeL CEO hails 'transformational' Elizabeth Line on anniversary as venue on track for busiest year yet

24 May 2023


  • High-speed train line has been 'game-changer' for reigniting London's event industry

  • 2023 set to become new benchmark for success within live events sector

  • Events at ExCeL tracking higher than previous all-time record from 2019


The CEO of London’s largest event venue, ExCeL, has hailed the Elizabeth line as ‘transformational for the city’s event industry’ as the high-speed network marked is first anniversary today. 

Jeremy Rees from the Royal Docks venue, which hosts some 400 events a year, also says it has led to an increase in visitor numbers, with ExCeL on track to record its busiest ever year, with figures already tracking a double-digit percentage higher than its previous record set before the pandemic in 2019.

Opened to the public on May 24 2022, ExCeL boasts its own dedicated Elizabeth line station via Custom House and benefits from the network’s fast, frequent and direct service across London, including being just 43 minutes door-to-door from Heathrow Airport. 

Now fully operational with up to 24 trains per hour at peak times (seven days per week), the line has seen more than 150 million passenger journeys since opening and accounts for one in six of all journeys on Britain’s transport network. 

Rees commented: “The introduction of the Elizabeth line has not only removed the friction of travel across London, but it’s also been transformational for the city's event industry. In person events are not just back, they’re booming and firmly in the driving seat to reviving the city’s business tourism economy.”

Studies conducted by leading independent researcher Explori identified that, as well as an increase in visitor footfall, the Elizabeth line has led to a 5% increase in those travelling from Europe to ExCeL, along with a 9% rise in delegates spending more than one day at the venue. It also found that 68% more people now reside within 45 minutes-travel of ExCeL.  

Certified carbon neutral, ExCeL welcomes up to four million visitors every year with around one million of those from overseas – approximately 25% of all inbound business tourism to London.

Rees added: “All this has resulted in ExCeL needing to expand and we’re now in the final construction phases of a 25,000sqm expansion programme – opening in October 2024 – to continue to put London at the forefront of the global events stage.”

ExCeL will now continue its packed schedule of events this year including this week’s MCM Comic Con, through to world sporting championships like Formula E (July) and major congresses such as the International Conference for Robotics & Automation (June). Earlier this year, it hosted immersive experience Jurassic World: The Exhibition, selling a record-breaking 315,000 tickets. 

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