“Send us the lead – we’ll do the rest,” urges Think Scotland, Think Conference campaign
A national campaign designed to raise the profile of Fife’s business tourism capabilities enters its second strategic phase this month (September 2015).
Think Scotland, Think Conference (TSTC) will take centre stage on September 24 at the Andrew Carnegie Birthplace Museum in Dunfermline, where Fife’s conference facilities will be showcased to some of the region’s key decision makers.
Co-hosted by Business Tourism for Scotland (BTfS) and Fife Chamber of Commerce, the event has been designed to help TSTC engage directly with industry leaders to raise awareness of the region’s business tourism offering.
Organisers say the evening will also promote the benefits of doing business in Fife, as well as the support available, to lure prestigious and lucrative conferences and business events to the region and across Scotland.
Fife Chamber chief executive Eric Byiers will introduce opportunities for the region, while Danny Cusick, sector director for tourism, food & drink and textiles at Scottish Enterprise, will outline the wider economic benefits of business tourism in Scotland.
Jane McGee, director of sales & marketing at Fairmont St Andrews and representative of BTfS will also present, outlining how Fife stakeholders can engage with the initiative.
Launched by minister for tourism Fergus Ewing MSP in January this year, the first phase of TSTC has seen almost 300 leading business influencers from organisations such as HSBC, Shepherd & Wedderburn and Strathearn Distillery join events in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Stirling, Perth, Aviemore and Dundee.
According to organisers, momentum continues to build behind the second wave of the campaign, with further events taking place in September, including in Dumfries & Galloway and Aberdeen.
VisitScotland has calculated that Fife tourism is currently worth £439 million to the local economy, with business tourism playing a crucial role in generating economic spend.
It says tourism leaders believe the recently-awarded World Heritage status of the Forth Bridge, will significantly help raise the profile of the region and the full renovation of the Queensferry Hotel, by DoubleTree by Hilton, due to open in Spring 2016, is just one example Fife’s expanding conference and meeting capabilities.
Jane McGee of Fairmont St Andrews and representative of BTfS for the TSTC Dunfermline event said: “I’m a passionate believer that business tourism is about more than tourism, it’s an economic driver that brings substantial and far reaching benefits to the wider region.
“With TSTC we are directly engaging with business leaders, simply asking them to consider putting Fife forward as the next host location for their organisation’s next annual conference, team building or incentive event. For champions, hosting business events is an excellent opportunity to raise the profile of their organisations to a wider national and international audience and to extend their personal network.”
Eric Byiers, chief executive of Fife Chamber of Commerce, said: “Business tourism brings significant economic benefits to the region and we’re pleased to be able to support Think Scotland, Think Conference. Fife Chamber of Commerce helps businesses to make the most of new opportunities and attract more conferences and events to the region. Whether that’s renewable energy, engineering, food and drink, or incentive travel, which is attracted by our fantastic facilities, countryside and outdoor pursuits.”
Danny Cusick, sector director for Tourism, Food & Drink and Textiles at Scottish Enterprise, said: “We will work with our extensive networks in Scotland and overseas to spread the message that Scotland has the facilities, the drive and the capabilities to deliver world class business events. Think Scotland, Think Conference allows us to reach non-traditional influencers who can use their contacts and position within their organisation to suggest or encourage the consideration of Scotland for future business events.
“The beauty of TSTC is that these influencers, or corporate champions, need not worry about the feasibility, logistics or detail of bringing a business event here, such as how many bedrooms or seats a particular venue has. The TSTC support team will handle all this; their message is simple ‘send us the lead – we’ll do the rest’.”
With business tourism events currently worth £1.9 billion annually to the Scottish economy, TSTC has been developed by industry group BTfS to lead the challenge of growing business tourism by £400 million (21%) to £2.3 billion by 2020, (21%).
TSTC is being delivered as a key strand of Scotland’s national tourism strategy, Tourism Scotland 2020, co-ordinated by the Scottish Tourism Alliance (STA).
To attend the Dunfermline event, which runs between 5.30pm and 7.30pm on September 24, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0141 357 2235.