New Think Scotland, Think Conference initiative aims to raise country’s profile for more business tourism – and kicks off in Perth
Business leaders are supporting an initiative to bring more prestigious and lucrative conferences and business events to Perth and Kinross.
Business Tourism for Scotland (BTfS) has teamed up with Invest in Perth, the investment campaign of Perth and Kinross Council, to host the city’s leg of the new Think Scotland, Think Conference (TSTC) initiative.
Members of the Invest in Perth Ambassador programme – set up to promote the city to the world as a high-quality business location and an attractive proposition for inward investment – will gather at Aviva’s headquarters on May 19 to hear about it.
Deputy First Minister John Swinney, MSP for Perthshire North, will make the keynote speech while Stephen Leckie, chief executive of Crieff Hydro, Sarah Butler, chief executive of Scone Palace, and Bernadette Malone, Perth and Kinross Council chief executive, will also give presentations.
With business tourism events currently worth £1.9 billion annually to the Scottish economy, Think Scotland, Think Conference aims to unlock greater business tourism benefits by engaging directly with commercial and private companies on an unprecedented scale.
The event aims to provide the right marketing tools, knowledge and support to allow local business leaders to become advocates for Perth’s business tourism offering.
Crieff Hydro’s Leckie, a BTfS representative for the Perth event, said: “I’m a passionate believer that business tourism has a reach well beyond hospitality and tourism.
“It’s an economic driver that brings substantial benefits to the wider region.
“With TSTC we are directly engaging with business leaders, simply asking them to consider putting Perth and Scotland forward as the next host location for their organisation or trade body’s next annual conference, team building or incentive event.”
Overall, tourism brings in £465 million and some 1.9 million visits each year to Perth and Kinross. While Perth Concert Hall has continued to grow as the city’s main conference venue, other sites – ranging from Gleneagles to Perth Racecourse – are growing in popularity.
Perth’s conference offering has been bolstered with the recent opening of the 80-room Premier Inn, adjacent to the concert hall, providing new accommodation options.
TSTC events will run from now to late June, visiting Edinburgh, Glasgow, Dundee, Dumfries, Aviemore, Inverness, Stirling, Aberdeen and Fife.