Exceeding annual targets, MECB generated over £16.1 million more than last year’s record breaking results. High profile conference wins include the 5th International Hypothermia Symposium in September 2014 and the European Conference on Rare Diseases & Orphan Products in May 2016.
The total number of events won in the last 12 months is 151. This is expected to attract over 55,000 delegates to the Capital, creating a projected 187,588 bed nights for accommodation providers in the city. Having generated just under £2million of accommodation bookings in 2013-14, Marketing Edinburgh’s own dedicated Conference Accommodation Booking Service is anticipating a busy 12 months ahead.
Lesley Williams, Head of Marketing Edinburgh’s Convention Bureau said: “These excellent results underline the importance of business tourism to the economy. As a centre of excellence in life sciences and new technologies, famed for its beauty and vibrancy, Edinburgh has always been a popular host city for conferences and events. A £110 million investment in recent years in the Capital’s game-changing facilities, such as the expansion at the EICC, the Sheraton Grand Hotel & Spa and The Assembly Rooms, means that we are better placed than ever before to succeed in this competitive international marketplace. We’re proud to offer delegates a world-class experience.”
Cllr Frank Ross, Convener of the Economy Committee, said: “This is fantastic news for Edinburgh’s economy but it isn’t surprising as Edinburgh was one of only two UK cities to make the top 50 in the latest International Congress and Convention league table last year. The Council also funded an extension of the EICC, which opened last year doubling conference space in the city.”
Over 1,250 delegates from 73 countries attended the four-day International Society for Quality in Health Care (ISQua), which took place last year at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre, generating over £1.9million for the local economy.
On the appeal of Edinburgh as a business tourism destination, Eadin Murphy, Events Manager for ISQua said: “The delegate feedback from our annual ISQua International Conference extremely positive, both for the scientific programme and overall conference experience in Edinburgh. The support from Marketing Edinburgh’s Convention Bureau was invaluable. From the initial bid process and Ambassador expertise, right through to site-inspections, accommodation assistance and promoting the 2013 conference at our previous year’s event in Geneva, the team were with us at every stage and completely committed to making our conference a success”.
Having climbed five places since last year, Edinburgh is now the 33rd most popular destination in the world in which to host an international association meeting and the only UK city in the top 50 outside London.