Destination Guide: Scotland

VisitScotland conference bid fund reaps early success

VisitScotland's newly launched £2 million national bid fund, aimed at attracting more business tourism to Scotland over the next three years, has already begun reaping benefits for the Scottish economy.

Glasgow has become the first city to prosper under the new scheme with a raft of major conference wins, helping to boost the city’s economy by £27 million and in the process beating off stiff competition from some of the world’s leading conference destinations, including Tokyo, San Francisco, Paris, London, Lisbon, Vienna, Copenhagen and Gothenburg.

Introduced in March by VisitScotland, the new conference subvention bid fund, which is match-funded by cities, is geared at increasing Scotland’s competitiveness within the international conventions market.

It is aimed at helping destinations across the country to put together the best possible bids and attract high-yield conferences, linked to Scotland’s areas of expertise in industry, commerce, science and medicine.

Glasgow City Marketing Bureau (GCMB) has secured seven major domestic and international conventions through to 2020 covering everything from the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Healthcare to the Renewables UK Offshore Wind Energy Conference and the World Biomaterials Congress.

Collectively, these seven conferences will bring almost 17,000 delegates from across the world to Glasgow, generating around 80,000 hotel room nights, and provide a £27 million boost to the local economy.

Neil Brownlee, Head of VisitScotland’s Business Tourism Unit, said: "I’m delighted to see the benefits the Conference Bid Fund is already delivering. Scotland competes magnificently on the global stage and when it comes to the conference market, the fund will not only help Scotland maintain this position but indeed push on and develop further."  

Visit C&IT’s Scotland Destination Guide here  

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