Bumper first year for Glasgow City Marketing Bureau

At the end of its first year of operation Glasgow City Marketing Bureau (GCMB) has reported an increase of 8% in conventions sales over 2004/05, while conference hotel bookings were up by a remarkable £1 million. Glasgow City Marketing Bureau was established on 1 April last year following the re-organisation of Scottish tourism and subsequent creation of 14 Visit Scotland network offices in place of 14 area tourist boards. Glasgow alone set up a public limited company – GCMB – to replace the dissolved Greater Glasgow and Clyde Valley Tourist Board (GGCVTB), with responsibility for managing the new Glasgow: Scotland with style brand and to run the city’s convention bureau. Figures for the first year of operation show: Convention bureau sales grew by 8% from £58.6 million in 2004-05 under GGCVTB to £63.1 million in 2005-06 The number of delegate days rose by 28.5% from 293,000 to 376,500 Gross sales through GCMB’s conference and booking service (CABS) surged by 71% from £1.4m to £2.4 million The number of delegates booking accommodation through CABS rose by 126% from 6,639 to 15,047 GCMB chief executive Scott Taylor said: “In its first 12 months of operation Glasgow City Marketing Bureau has achieved significant success both in growing international conventions business and in securing conferences from UK associations in what has been a flat marketplace. “The economic impact of conventions and meetings to Glasgow in the past year has been tangible, and they will bring in 376,500 delegate days. That means that one in five hotel rooms sold in Glasgow is to a conference delegate. Taylor said the Glasgow: Scotland with style brand had been fundamental to growing tourist numbers to the city. Hotel occupancy has been 2% higher than last year for the whole of the year, with demand outstripping supply. “City branding is red hot at the moment and Glasgow is at the forefront of city branding globally,” he said. “Glasgow is recognised as achieving what other cities aspire to – re-positioning and re-engineering the city product and image.” Businesses and civic organisations across the city have supported the brand, and membership of the convention bureau has grown by one-third in the past 12 months, from 181 to 240 – including the Crowne Plaza, Marriott, Radisson and Hilton hotels, which give the brand a global reach. Head of the convention bureau at GCMB Molly Doheny said: “The results show that conference organisers are finding Glasgow is an easy city with which to do business because of the joined-up approach the city takes through working in partnership with the public and private sectors.”

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