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Figures released by VisitScotland this month show a notable increase in income to Scotland from business tourism. With a boost of almost 2 per cent, those coming to Scotland for "conferences":http://www.venues.org.uk/searches/conference_centres_venues.asp, "meetings":http://www.venues.org.uk/searches/london_meeting_rooms_venues.asp and exhibitions are now bringing in £911m to Scotland’s economy, spending an average of £105 per night, more than double the spend of their leisure counterparts and representing an increase in spend of 19.3% on last year.
With around 3 million business tourism visitors a year coming to Scotland, this increase is the result of ambitious investment by the tourism providers themselves in venues and services, coupled with a boost in the marketing effort by VisitScotland. The industry ambition is to increase income to £1.6 billion by 2015 ahead of other tourism targets, and these figures confirm the team is beginning to kick off the forecast growth.
“These figures represent the beginning of a step-change in business tourism,” says head of business tourism, Caroline Packman. “We are seeing new developments and refurbishments throughout Scotland which confirm that our country is punching above its weight in the "conference":http://www.venues.org.uk/searches/conference_centres_venues.asp and "meetings":http://www.venues.org.uk/searches/london_meeting_rooms_venues.asp market. Add to that the new direct flights coming on-stream all the time, and you can see why more and more people are choosing Scotland for their event and the importance of business tourism to the economy.”