Capital tourist chiefs bid to impress US businesses in £15m deal

Edinburgh Castle. Image; Jane Barlow
Edinburgh Castle. Image; Jane Barlow
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IT is the ultimate test of making a good first impression – with a mere £15 million at stake.

Top business figures from the United States have arrived in Edinburgh to see if it makes the grade as a location to host events for their high-end clients.

They will spend the next three days meeting suppliers – including staff from The Balmoral and Sheraton hotels – and even take part in a treasure hunt through the Capital by way of light entertainment.

A tour of Scotland will then take place, including visits to Gleneagles and Stirling Castle.Tourist experts calculate the 20 visiting delegates represent a potential £15m in enquiries to the business events industry in Scotland.

Tamara Kobiolke, director of sales and marketing at The Balmoral, said: “We’re thrilled to be a partner for this prestigious event on an impressive itinerary which will showcase the very best of Scotland to these key buyers.”

It is the first time that The eVent: UK Summit has taken place in Scotland, having been held in London in 2015, its inaugural year.

North America plays a key role in Scotland’s £1.9 billion events industry, amounting to a quarter of all international business events.

Richard Knight, VisitScotland’s business events director of marketing, said: “This exclusive invitation-only summit presents a huge opportunity for Scotland to promote itself as a world class destination to the crème de la crème of the North American business events industry.

“With its rich history, heritage and culture and a range of contemporary world-class venues, Scotland offers a unique stage for the meetings and incentives market and we hope attendees will be inspired to bring their future events to our shores.”

In 2015, Edinburgh was named best UK business conference venue outside of London, ranked 31st in the world by the International Congress and Convention Association.

Mr Knight added: “Edinburgh truly is an inspiring city offering an unprecedented variety of iconic venues.”