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Some think slogan a little awry

New business tourism campaign off to stuttering start

EICCSenior executives were last night urged to back a new tourism initiative that aims to boost the number of business-related visitor events held in Scotland.

Tourism minister Fergus Ewing led a rallying call to a couple of hundred representatives of large and small companies, tourism officials and event managers at Edinburgh Castle.

The Think Scotland, Think Conference campaign is said to be a first for Europe and it is hoped that it will help push business tourism’s contribution to the national economy, currently worth £792 million.

Mr Ewing told attendees, that while the money was important, the key factor was people and he appealed for them to spread the word during their travels.

TSTC will work with Scotland’s business community, particularly with Scottish Enterprise and its partners such as Scottish Development International and Global Scots to reach out to those in business who have an affinity to Scotland and pride in their sectors and individual organisations.

Daily Business Comment: This was actually a rather low-key affair that had the makings of being something a little more stimulating. Some highland country dancers and a group of four guys bashing various utensils put on a brief show, but those who came from as far afield as Inverness and Aberdeen in dreadful weather conditions might have expected a more focused and meatier presentation.

Instead they were served an overlong speech by Judy Rae, head of events at Glasgow Science Centre who leads on business tourism at the Scottish Tourism Alliance. Her address was accompanied by a blitz of text on an on-screen slide show that was barely visible and largely forgettable.

The campaign seems to be based largely on encouraging business people to act as ambassadors, but there was no explanation as to how they would go about this, in what way they would be helped, what campaign material they may be given or, crucially, how the outcomes would be measured.

As for the slogan, it seems to be the wrong way around, a view expressed by one or two attendees last night. After all, the presentation led on the idea that those planning conferences should put Scotland on their list. In that case, it ought to be Think Conference, Think Scotland. 

A small point, perhaps, but slogans only work if they are truly meaningful. However, this shouldn’t overshadow the purpose the campaign which, though a bit woolly, is worth pursuing. Scotland now has the facilities to match its tourism attractions. The SSE Hydro and the expanded EICC (pictured) will eventually be joined by a new Aberdeen conference centre. The stage is set. Now it just needs to ramp up already impressive numbers.

TM

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