Success for conference unit

Edinburgh breaks business tourism record

John Donnelly 2Convention Edinburgh, the business tourism arm of the city’s official marketing agency, Marketing Edinburgh, has reported its most successful year to date.

It secured conference and event bid wins worth £94.3 million to the local economy and a 10,000 boost in delegate numbers.

This is a £2.8m increase on last year’s economic impact figures.

High profile conferences secured over the last year include the Rehabilitation International Congress, in October 2016, PIBD 2021 and June’s International Cricket Council Conference 2016.

The city also welcomed some of business tourism leading bodies and influencers, including hosting PCMA Global Medical Leaders’ Summit in November 2015 and most recently the IAPCO Council in April 2016.

John Donnelly (above), chief executive, Marketing Edinburgh said: “This is great news for the city of Edinburgh and testament to the hard work of everyone involved. 2015/16 was a crucial year in Convention Edinburgh’s ongoing strategic development, not only in terms of bid win success, but positive client response.

“While attracting global international associations remains a priority, particularly through our work with BestCities Global Alliance, we continue to invest in developing Edinburgh’s unique value proposition to a whole range of audiences, particularly in North America and Europe. Crucially, our active and influential Ambassador Programme has played an integral part helping us achieve our record breaking results – which I’m sure this will continue to do for the next twenty years.”

Lesley Williams, head of business tourism at Convention Edinburgh said: “With conference and delegate numbers strengthening year on year, there is a huge amount of potential future growth in the city.  As a destination bureau, Convention Edinburgh’s role is evolving.

“While supporting our clients in sourcing venues and accommodation remain important, increasingly we are playing a wider part in helping to shape conferences and build relevant connections for our clients. This is particularly true in emerging areas such as legacy development.

“There is a growing ambition with meeting organisers to leave a lasting legacy within a host city, creating wider benefits that can continue to grow and outlive their event.  As the conduit between local businesses, charities, academia and government, Convention Edinburgh is ideally placed to work with the client to help develop their legacy ambitions and bring about positive change.”

Councillor Gavin Barrie, economy convener, at the city council, said: “For Convention Edinburgh and its members to successfully bring more conferences to Scotland’s capital city than ever before is a tremendous achievement and result of a huge collaborative effort.

“Along with increasing the economic value of conferences and events to Edinburgh by more than £3 million pounds, the number of expected delegates has also increased by 10,000. These are significant figures, which will have a far reaching and a long lasting, positive impact on the city’s economy for years to come.”

Currently ranked 35 in the world’s city rankings according to the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) and 20th in Europe, Edinburgh annually holds more international meetings than any other UK city outside of London.

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