Conferences boost

Business tourism fund leverages £200m for economy

EICCA £2 million fund set up to attract lucrative conferences to Scotland has helped to boost the country’s economy by £200m, it was announced today.

The VisitScotland Conference Bid Fund, set up three years ago, has helped to secure 97 business events throughout the country with some conferences booked in as far ahead as 2022.

The money awarded is based on match-funding and the conferences must also tie in with Scottish Government target sectors. They range in size from 80 to 5,000 delegates.

Events supported include:

·         Viking Congress – Shetland, 2013

·         Adventure Conference – Skye, 2013

·         Creative Orkney – 2014

·         Scottish Mountain Biking Conference: International Edition – Peebles, 2014

·         Environmental Interactions of Marine Renewables – Stornoway, 2014

·         European Political Science Conference – Edinburgh, 2014

·         Cold Water Island Tourism Conference – Arran, 2015

·         ISAM (International Society of Addiction Medicine – Dundee, 2015

·         Routes Europe – Aberdeen, 2015

·         Celtic Media Festival – Inverness, 2015

·         Global Mountains of the Future – Perth, 2015

·         Commonwealth Law Conference – Glasgow, 2015

·         British Art Medal Society – St Andrews, 2015

Scottish Tourism Minister Fergus Ewing said: “Business Tourism is a growing and important contributor to the Scottish economy, which creates jobs and reinforces Scotland’s credentials on the world stage across a range of key industries.”

“This predicted rate of return is one of the most successful we have seen and has successfully supported conferences from Shetland to Peebles and Skye to Perth, and I look forward to welcoming more business visitors to Scotland over the coming years.”

Neil Brownlee, head of business events at VisitScotland,  described it as “a remarkable achievement”.

He said: “The business events industry is a key sector which supports not only conference centres and hotels throughout Scotland, but also hundreds of other operators not normally associated with tourism, such as AV companies, independent caterers and unique venues.” 

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