The chairman of the Excel centre - which brings travel, business and entertainment exhibitions to east London each year - has been awarded an OBE (Order of the British Empire) in the New Year’s Honours.

Kevin Murphy, who is also the former CEO of the centre in Royal Victoria Dock, received the honour in recognition of his services to the business tourism industry.

A dog performs at last year's London Pet Show at the Excel

During his time with the company Kevin has overseen the investment of £165million by the Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Company, which created a further 40,000 m2 of exhibition space and London’s International Convention Centre at Excel.

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He also secured a £55million investment for the UK’s first Aloft hotel.

Kevin said: “It’s a huge honour to be awarded an OBE for services to business tourism. This industry is very dear to me and I’m delighted to have played my part in cementing London’s reputation as the home of world leading events.

The Excel centre

“Personal highlights have included supporting London’s bid to host the most successful Olympics in history, opening the capital’s International Convention Centre and Phase 2 development at Excel and delivering on our ambition to place London in the top 10 of the International Congress and Convention Association rankings.

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“I’d like to personally thank everyone who has made this accolade possible, particularly the fantastic teams at Excel and London and Partners.”

According to a spokesman for the Excel centre, last year the centre welcomed more than 3million visitors and contributed £2.9billion in economic impact.

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