Bournemouth gets full CVB go-ahead

The Bournemouth International Centre (BIC) and the town’s industry suppliers have been given approval by the borough council to set up a full-service conference bureau. Officially launched on 1 January, the Bournemouth International Conference Bureau (BICB) will provide a single point of contact for all business tourism enquiries. It is an extension of the service currently provided by the Conference Bournemouth partnership, which has operated as a quasi-bureau over the past nine years. “By building on our present set-up, we’ll be able to offer event organisers a complete package of services from just one source,” said head of conferences at the BIC, Clive Tyers, who will also take charge of the BICB. The creation of the BICB has been spearheaded by the town’s hotel sector in a bid to develop the Bournemouth brand. Wessex Hotel manager Mark Haslingden said: “By pooling our resources and promoting our services to conference organisers, we are confident we can maximise our meetings business.” l The BIC is to receive a cash boost of almost £10m from the government for expansion and refurbishment of its facilities. The project, the UK’s first Private Finance Initiative (PFI) awarded in the tourism sector, will include the addition of an extra 1,290m2 of exhibition and meeting space and the renovation of the Pavilion Theatre, which sees the installation of a new 200-seat auditorium.

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