TWENTY of York’s tourism and hospitality businesses converged on London in a bid to showcase their city’s conference-hosting capabilities.

The second York Minster to Westminster event was hosted on Wednesday by Visit York with support from MPs Hugh Bayley and Julian Sturdy.

Organised by VisitYork4Meetings, the event showcased business tourism in York, and welcomed a record turnout of conference and event buyers, including representatives from The Green Party, Barratt Homes, The Royal Society of Medicine, The Institute for Small Business and Entrepreneurship and the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy.

As part of the showcase, which profiled York’s range of conference, event venues and suppliers, six German buyers flew in to London in conjunction with Visit England. These key buyers from high-profile companies across Germany will also visit York on a familiarisation visit to see the city.

New venues exhibiting at the showcase this year included The Jorvik Group, which manages JORVIK Viking Centre, the medieval Barley Hall and archaeology based attraction, DIG.

Other venues participating for the first time included the four-star Hotel Du Vin & Bistro and Hilton York, making up a total of 20 of York’s venues who met with the buyers to discuss bookings for future events and conferences.

Speakers at the event, which is supported by East Coast, included Lord Shutt of Greetland, as well as Jane, Lady Gibson, chairman of Visit York.

Delegates began the day at The Houses of Parliament for networking, afternoon tea, speeches and a behind-the-scenes tour, before moving on to the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre for a York venue showcase and buyer appointments.

Kate McMullen, head of Visit York, said: “York Minster to Westminster is a great example of the kind of innovative work that Visit York is known for. It’s not only innovative, it produces great results. By taking our business tourism offer to the capital, we aim to produce a cohesive, measurable result for the city in terms of future conference bookings.”

Last year’s event was attended by 60 event buyers including the Liberal Democrats head of Conferences and Events who then confirmed their Spring Conference in York, which takes place this weekend.