Scotland annouces £911m C&I boost

Delegates attending conferences and meetings in Scotland spend twice as much as leisure visitors and contribute £911m to the destination’s economy. According to statistics released by Visit Scotland, conference, meetings and exhibitions delegates in 2006 spent, on average, £105 per day - up 19% on 2005. In comparison, leisure visitors spent an average of £41 a day in 2006. The £911m that business tourism generated for Scotland’s economy was up almost 2% on 2005. About three million business delegates visit Scotland a year. Visit Scotland head of business tourism Caroline Packman put the growth down to venue and service improvements and additional direct flights. “We are seeing new developments and refurbishments throughout Scotland that confirm that our country is punching above its weight in the conference and meetings market,” she said. “Add to that the new direct flights coming on stream all the time, and you can see why more and more people are choosing Scotland for their event and the importance of business tourism to the economy.” The business tourism industry aims to generate £1.6bn a year by 2015 and Packman said the Visit Scotland Business Tourism Unit, which is working with the Scottish Executive and Scottish Development International to develop events and marketing promotions, would play a major role in marketing the destination. “We are starting to look in more detail at the emerging markets,” she added. Scotland has secured a number of high-profile meetings this year including those for the World Health Organisation this month in Tulliallan, Fife, and the British Cardiovascular Society at the SECC in Glasgow in June, as well as the software company Citrix iForum, at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre.

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