A COALITION of Hotels is throwing its weight behind a third runway at Heathrow, claiming congestion and delays at the airport are damaging Britain`s status as a major conference venue.
Destination London Heathrow, which includes the Marriott, Intercontinental and Jurys Inn chains, believes the consequences of not building a third runway could be "astronomical".
"We are now quoting against, and losing business to, other European cities," the association said.
"Historically we would only ever bid against central London and each other. Cities such as Paris, Amsterdam, Frankfurt and now Munich were not even on the radar for conference agents."
Destination London Heathrow said that catering bookings, which are closely linked to conference activity, have fallen by 25 per cent over the last five years and claimed "this trend paints an extremely worrying picture".
It added: "The possible decline in our business if the third runway is not built is astronomical."
The association said the situation was being made even worse by the growing supply of accommodation, including the new 600-room Sofitel hotel at Terminal 5.