UK. Following a lengthy and hotly-contested bid process, Hilton London Metropole, one of Europe’s largest hotel and conference centres, has been announced as the host of the World Irish Dancing Championships for 2014. The event will mark the first time that London has hosted the Championship, which will welcome between 15,000 – 20,000 people to the city over Easter 2014, bringing an economic benefit of approximately £3.8 million to the capital.
The bid was submitted by Hilton London Metropole, in partnership with London & Partners, the official promotional agency and convention bureau for the UK capital. The bid beat off stiff competition from Glasgow and Belfast with support from the Mayor of London and partners across the city, who offered value added discounts for the delegates during their stay.
The eight-day event will bring together over 4,500 competitors for the international competition of the An Coimisium Le Rinci Gaealcha (Irish Dance Commission). In addition, approximately 20,000 of the competitors friends, family and teachers are set to descend on London to watch the competition.
The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: “It is brilliant news that this globally admired and historic aspect of Irish culture is dancing right to our doorstep in London. With thousands of people expected to come and soak up the atmosphere, the Championships will be a fantastic jamboree of dance and a vital boost to London’s economy. We look forward to extending a really warm welcome to all those who will compete here in 2014.”
Avner On, General Manager at the London Hilton Metropole said: “We are honoured to be hosting such a well-respected and historic event and very proud to be a part of something that promises to pull thousands of people to the Capital.”
A spokesperson for An Coimisiun le Rinci Gaelacha added their support: "It is with great pleasure that we announce that the 2014 Oireachtas Rince na Cruinne - World Irish Dancing Championships will be held at the Hilton London Metropole. Forty-one years after the inaugural World Irish Dancing Championships, the awarding of the 2014 event to the British Capital is a hugely significant development. Irish dancers and teachers from London have played an important role in the shaping of An Coimisiun le Rinci Gaelacha in general, and of our flagship championship in particular, and we have no doubt that the 2014 event will be an emotional occasion for them, and a recognition of their contribution to the world of Irish Dancing. To London & Partners, sponsors of the bid to host the 2014 World Irish Dancing Championships in London, we offer our sincere thanks, and we look forward to working in partnership with you over the next three years."