Convention Edinburgh, the business tourism arm of Marketing Edinburgh, has received major funding to target North American business visitors.
The bureau received over £39k in investment from VisitScotland’s Growth Fund to run the campaign designed to benefit its members looking to reach out to North America.
The VisitScotland Growth Fund awards up to 50 per cent of an accepted project’s costs.
The funding will enable Convention Edinburgh to run an integrated marketing and advertising campaign on the North American convention market.
The VisitScotland Growth Fund is a £1m fund available for new, collaborative marketing projects from groups of tourism businesses that have strong customer focus and that operate at local, regional or national level. It supports projects aimed at increasing visitor numbers and reaching new target markets and organisations can receive from a minimum award of £5,000 up to a maximum of £65,000.
Lesley Williams, Head of Business Tourism at Convention Edinburgh said: “This is the first time Convention Edinburgh has applied for funding and we’re thrilled to have succeeded. “Edinburgh is a centre of innovation, business and inspiration with world class facilities that makes it a compelling destination for event organisers to choose for their next conference and this investment will help us build on this further.”
Manuela Calchini, VisitScotland’s Regional Director for Edinburgh and the Lothians added: “We are delighted to be able to give this valuable funding to Convention Edinburgh and trust it will make a real impact in what is already a very significant sector in the capital city.
“Business Tourism is worth £1.9bn to the Scottish economy, supporting not only conference centres and hotels, but thousands of other operators not normally associated with tourism, such as AV companies, independent caterers and unique venues. We look forward to seeing the sector grow and develop in Edinburgh, attracting key audiences and showcasing Scotland as an innovative and attractive country for business.”
Calchini noted that 2013/14 was a record-breaking year for Convention Edinburgh, the bureau securing over 150 new conference bid wins worth over £90.1m for the local economy. This includes international conventions such as the European Aquaculture Society in 2016 and the Cleft Lip/Palate and Related Craniofacial Anomalies conference in 2021.
From April to September 2014, Convention Edinburgh worked with its members to host 103 events in and around Edinburgh, generating £56m for the local economy.
Extra activities already enabled by the new funding include part funding a new Edinburgh Business Tourism film (http://youtu.be/ACYgXw6WpYA) and a new Convention Edinburgh presentation/iBook for the incentive market is due to be revealed in December. A sales trip to North America during Scotland Week 2015 for Convention Edinburgh and up to four members will also be supported.
There will be some partial funding for support costs for an additional 20 qualified buyers from the North American market to visit Edinburgh via bespoke site inspections and familiarisation trips in 2015.
Edinburgh is the number one ICCA (International Congress and Convention Association) conference destination in the UK outside of London and rated 21 in the top 50 European City ranking.
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