CVBs update data on event expenditure around the UK

The UK’s national convention bureaus are pooling their resources to get a better understanding of the economic contribution of conferences to individual destinations. Research being co-ordinated by Visit Scotland will seek to provide destinations with updated information on delegate expenditure that reflects different types of events, location in the UK and where delegates have come from. Scott Robertson, marketing manager UK at Visit Scotland, said: "The research will replace existing BTA Visit Britain multiplier figures that the industry uses for conferences. Each conference is very different, yet the current research does not reflect this. For example, a conference in Scotland would not cost the same as one in London." Visit Britain, the Welsh Tourist Board and the Northern Ireland Tourist Board have contributed to the cost of undertaking the research, which reflects a growing recognition of the value of business tourism. The new research would provide convention bodies with a sharper tool for planning their future activities, said Robertson. It is being undertaken by a specialist research company, and results are expected to be available later this year. Executive director of the BACD Tony Rogers said the research was crucial: "The current figures we use are based on research from 1997/98, and although they have been adapted for inflation a couple of times, we need to make sure that the baseline figures are more accurate and definitions more appropriate." Robertson said that Visit Scotland hoped to follow up the activity with further research examining the wider impact of business tourism. "We estimate that business tourism is responsible for about a quarter of all tourism in Scotland," he said, "but it is very difficult to get a handle on what its contribution is away from the conference hall."

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