Business Tourism Scotland 2015

Ewing urges events organisers to use fund

Fergus Ewing TwitterFergus Ewing, the tourism minister, today urged more conference organisers to take advantage of a government fund that has so far leveraged more than £200 million in delegate business.

Mr Ewing (pictured) said the BID fund had been hugely successful, although there were too few organisations that seemed to be aware of it.

“We have an asset to be used. Please use it,” he told delegates attending the Business Tourism Scotland conference in Edinburgh.

The BID fund was introduced to halt a loss of conference business to towns and cities in England and overseas which were using inducements.

Since its introduction by the Scottish government it has secured 104 conferences bringing 122,000 delegates who have spent £206 million. Mr Ewing said that was a return on a £2m investment by the government, matched by other parties and thereby representing a £50 return on every £1 invested.

“If other government pounds brought us £50 things would be a bit different,” he mused.

He said the fund was already financing a new pipeline of events that would bring 92,000 visitors generating £147m for the economy.

He was particularly keen to spread conference business around Scotland.

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