Convention Edinburgh is responsible for marketing the capital as a global conference, incentive, meeting and event destination. It will use the funding to undertake an integrated marketing and advertising campaign to promote the destination's business tourism offering to the North American convention market.
The investment has already enabled Convention Edinburgh to carry out additional activities, such as the creation of a new Edinburgh Business Tourism film showcasing what makes the city a leading business tourism destination.
From April to September this year the organisation worked with its members to host 103 events in and around Edinburgh, generating an additional £56m for the local economy.
The funding will also help finance a sales trip to North America during Scotland Week 2015, and support costs for an additional 20 North American buyers to visit Edinburgh on bespoke familiarisation trips. A new Convention Edinburgh iBook for the incentive market is due to be revealed in December.
Lesley Williams, head of business tourism at Convention Edinburgh, said: "This is the first time Convention Edinburgh has applied for funding and we’re thrilled to have succeeded. Edinburgh is a centre of innovation, business and inspiration with world class facilities that makes it a compelling destination for event organisers to choose for their next conference and this investment will help us build on this further."
The VisitScotland Growth Fund is a £1m fund available for well-researched, new, collaborative marketing projects from groups of tourism businesses that have strong customer focus and that operate at local, regional or national level. It supports projects aimed at increasing visitor numbers and reaching new target markets and organisations can receive from a minimum award of £5,000 up to a maximum of £65,000.
Manuela Calchini, VisitScotland’s regional director for Edinburgh and the Lothians, said: "We are delighted to be able to give this valuable funding to Convention Edinburgh and trust it will make a real impact in what is already a very significant sector in the capital city.
"Business Tourism is worth £1.9bn to the Scottish economy, supporting not only conference centres and hotels, but thousands of other operators not normally associated with tourism, such as AV companies, independent caterers and unique venues. We look forward to seeing the sector grow and develop in Edinburgh, attracting key audiences and showcasing Scotland as an innovative and attractive country for business ."
Convention Edinburgh achieved a record-breaking year in 2013/14 with the business tourism team and its partners securing over 150 new conference bid wins worth more than £90.1m for the local economy.