More money-spinning conferences could be on their way to Dumfries & Galloway following the launch of a new VisitScotland ‘bid builder’ designed to promote the area.
Conference Dumfries (featuring the Aston Hotel, Cairndale Hotel, Easterbrook Hall and Premier Inn) will be working closely with the national tourism organisation’s Business Tourism team to put together bids using the new online tool and encourage more business events to the region.
VisitScotland’s Ambassador Programme sees local conference organisers, including academics, work with the Business Tourism team to promote the region as a great place to do business.
The new bid builder provides an extensive, ready-made template for those bidding to bring a conference to Dumfries & Galloway, and features information on accommodation, visitor attractions and the wide range of things to see and do in the region.
It was unveiled at a special VisitScotland Ambassador lunch at the Marco Pierre White restaurant in Dumfries, attended by members of VisitScotland’s Business Tourism team and Conference Dumfries.
Also at the lunch were VisitScotland Ambassadors from Dumfries and Galloway Council, Destination Dumfries, Minerva, Crichton Development Company, the Crichton Institute, the University of the West of Scotland and the University of Glasgow (Dumfries campus).
Kerry Watson, who heads up VisitScotland’s Business Tourism Ambassador Programme, said: “Dumfries & Galloway has a great deal to offer, not only in terms of its accommodation and business facilities, but also its scenery and range of activities, which are key ingredients in attracting conferences and other business events to the region. The new Dumfries & Galloway bid builder will help to highlight these key attributes and we are looking forward to working with our local Ambassadors to bring more conferences and events to the area.”
Suzanne Jackson, Chair of Conference Dumfries and Sales Manager at Cairndale Hotel & Leisure Club, said: “Conference Dumfries has created a platform for partnership working within the business tourism sector. It is our intention to market Dumfries as a central point, geographically, to attract new business meetings and conferences into the town using the individual selling advantages of the four venues involved.
“Our aim is to showcase Dumfries as a viable alternative to the central belt and north of England’s towns and cities. By creating a single point of contact for conference, meeting or training bookers, this allows us to compete on a national level with other destinations.
“We are working together to increase awareness of Dumfries and the surrounding area as an attractive destination for business tourism and the VisitScotland bid builder is an important new tool in achieving this.”
According to an economic impact study commissioned by the Meeting Professionals International (MPI) Foundation, business tourism is worth £1.9 billion to the Scottish economy.”