Scotland politics

VisitScotland claims new conference bookings worth £36m

Tourism body VisitScotland has said a number of major conferences are to be held in Scotland, boosting the economy by £36m.

The organisation, along with councils and other partners, have secured the new business using about £320,000 from the Scottish Conference Bid Fund.

The return on investment from the fund promises to be 56 to one.

Business tourism is estimated to be worth more than £800m to the Scottish economy.

Neil Brownlee, head of VisitScotland's business tourism unit, said: "I'm delighted to see the benefits the fund already delivering. Scotland competes magnificently on the global stage and this will help us to maintain this position and push and develop further."

Glasgow has been the biggest beneficiary managing to secure a raft of major conferences which could bring £27m to the city.

It is believed that business visitors spend 1.5 times more than normal tourists.

Over the next three years, the bid fund will provide £2m to local authorities to attract more business tourists to Scotland.

Enterprise and Tourism Minister Fergus Ewing said the fund allowed Scottish venues to compete against the "big hitters" in the industry like Tokyo and San Francisco.

He added: "It is building on the great success that Scotland already has in this area and boosting our economy in the process."

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