Thursday, March 17, 2011

Prospects good for Scottish Conventions Marketplace

Visit Scotland head of business tourism Neil Brownlee said: "The plethora of major new developments in 2011 is unprecedented in recent years, with three projects alone accounting for over £150m. With the 2014 Commonwealth Games looming, and so many high-profile projects about to launch, there is undoubtedly a renewed optimism.

"While it is impossible to make absolute projections on visitor levels, there is no doubt that with so many fantastic new facilities, Scotland is well placed to retain its competitive advantage and poised to benefit from the upturn when it comes."

Openings this year include:

Hilton Edinburgh Grosvenor, March

The hotel has undergone a £1.3m renovation, including a complete overhaul of event space the Grosvenor Club (to be renamed the Grosvenor Townhouse), located opposite the main part of the hotel. Event capacity is up to 400.

The refurbishment covers the lounge area, reception space and all 53 bedrooms and bathrooms in the annexe. A meeting space for up to ten delegates and a steel and glass reception area have also been built.

Riverside Museum, Glasgow Harbour, Spring

The new £74m Riverside Museum is being constructed beside the River Clyde. Due to open in June 2011, the futuristic structure can host a reception for 800-900 guests. Five areas, fitting up to 150, will also be available.

National Museums of Scotland, Edinburgh, opening Summer 2011 and open for corporate events from October 2011.

Located in the heart of Edinburgh, the museum is undergoing a £60m redevelopment, which will includes a new street level floor, a cafĂ© and restaurant, 16 new galleries and a Grand Gallery.

The Grand Gallery's atrium can host gala dinners for 850 people.

Stirling Castle’s Royal Palace, opening 4 June

The castle is currently restoring its 16th century palace for corporate events. Groups can enjoy medieval gala dinners and entertainment provided by costumed performers.

The castle fits 400 theatre-style, 300 banquet and 400 for a reception.


Meanwhile, construction recently begun on The Scottish National Arena, Glasgow, due for completion by 2013.

The Edinburgh International Conference Centre’s (EICC) expansion is also due for completion in 2013.

Scotland’s business tourism market was worth £827m when last recorded in 2009, up 14% on 2008. Business visitors accounted for 20% of tourists with many events coming from the pharmaceutical and bioscience markets.

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