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World Congress events will boost Edinburgh's economy

Edinburgh’s business tourism sector has had a positive start to 2014, with the announcement today (Monday 20 January) of three new conference wins for the city, estimated to be worth almost £8million to the local economy.
Led by Marketing Edinburgh’s Convention Bureau and host venue, the Edinburgh International Conference Centre (EICC), the successful partnership bid wins are expected to attract over 4,000 international delegates to the city and include the World Congress of Bioethics in June 2016 and the International Neuromodulation Society World Congress in June 2017. 

Particularly high profile is the British Neuroscience Association’s ‘Festival of Neuroscience’, which will take place on 12-15 April 2015, during one of the largest science festivals in Europe, the Edinburgh International Science Festival. The congress, which will be attended by over 1,500 academics, will bring a forecast economic benefit to the city of £2.4milllion.  

All three events were won as a result of a joint bid process in competition with leading global business tourism destinations.  

On the selection of Edinburgh as the host destination for the BNA 2015: Festival of Neuroscience, Elaine Snell, Chief Executive for The British Neuroscience Association, said:  “Not only were we impressed with the EICC’s extensive facilities, but the city itself will be a popular and natural draw for the attending delegates.  

“That we are able to also coincide the BNA’s Festival of Neuroscience with the Edinburgh International Science Festival is a marvellous opportunity for us to further engage with the public, and talk about the amazing research that is helping our understanding of the brain.  

“A successful conference requires a seamless response on all levels and  we are confident that the coordinated support offered by EICC and Marketing Edinburgh’s Convention Bureau will result in our 2015 event being a highlight of the year for the organisation.”   

With Edinburgh’s tourism businesses gathering tomorrow (Tuesday 21 January) at the EICC for the annual Edinburgh Tourism Action Group (ETAG) Conference, keynote speaker, Marketing Edinburgh’s Chief Executive John Donnelly, will be further outlining relevant trends and future revenue opportunities generated by the profitable conference and event sector for the city.   

Speaking ahead of the ETAG Conference, John Donnelly, Chief Executive of Marketing Edinburgh said: “We are delighted to announce the three most recent new congress wins for the Capital. As a conference destination city, Edinburgh punches well above its weight, rated 33rd in the world and second only to London in the UK by the ICCA.   

“That said, we simply can’t rest on our laurels. International competition is fierce and ongoing challenges such as cost, VAT on tourism related products and Air Passenger Duty (APD), all have a limiting impact on future growth.  To help counter this, collaboration is crucial. As the latest bid wins prove, a cohesive, city-specific approach between Marketing Edinburgh’s business tourism team and our bid-partners, can help us maximise the appeal of this amazing city.”  

Louise Andrew, EICC’s Head of Sales and Marketing, said “Our ability to attract major international events in life sciences is testimony to Scotland’s leading academic and industrial strength in this key growth sector and to our developed expertise in meeting the exacting requirements of world congress organisers”.

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