Cardiff bureau grabs £23m of conferences

Cardiff Conference Bureau has secured events worth more than £23m to the Welsh capital this year and is looking to boost this further with a number of marketing activities targeted towards conference buyers. Head of the bureau Bernard Owen confirmed 26 conferences would be taking place with total delegate numbers exceeding 18,000, a 5% increase over the previous year. “We have been capitalising on the success of the Millennium Stadium,” he said. “The top 500 companies in the UK are holding corporate hospitality events there and while these delegates may not have visited Cardiff in five or ten years, they’re now seeing what the city can offer the C&I buyer.” In addition, there has been an explosion in hotel development over the last 18 months, according to Owen. “Cardiff’s hotel room capacity alone has increased by 26% and prices are 10-12% lower than they are in many UK cities,” he said. The bureau is planning a second fam trip for conference organisers in April, following the first in November last year, organised in conjunction with the Cardiff Hoteliers Association, for 17 buyers. Three bookings were made as a result of this fam trip, bringing £1m to the city. There is a possibility of future conference venues, yet Owen reiterated there is nothing confirmed to date and any plans they do have will not be announced until 2003. “Even then they won’t be ready for a few years after,” Owen admitted. “However, Cardiff is on a high at the moment, especially as we are going to the market with a stronger brand.”

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