Edinburgh soars in world business tourism rankings

Edinburgh has rocketed up the business tourism world league table after attracting a clutch of major events to the capital.

Edinburgh rose eight places to 27 in the global rankings for hosting major conferences. Picture: Steven Scott Taylor

The latest rankings compiled by a leading industry body show the capital has risen eight places to 27 in the global city rankings for hosting major conferences and events.

The rise came after Edinburgh hosted 76 major conferences and meetings in 2016, including events such as Autism-Europe Congress and the Congress of the European Society of Agronomy, which delivered an estimated £35 million in economic benefit for the city.

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The International Congress & Convention Association (ICCA) figures, due to be officially published next month, show Paris has regained the top global ranking.

London is fifth in the latest rankings with Glasgow coming in at 50, Manchester 94 and Oxford 100. Edinburgh has also moved up the European rankings from 20 last year to 18.

The new rankings come just days after separate figures showed business tourism in Edinburgh has soared since the start of 2017, with five new event bid wins equating to 3,400 delegates, contributing £7m to the local economy.

Elaine Miller, ambassador and association bid manager at Convention Edinburgh, the business tourism division of Marketing Edinburgh, said the ICCA figures were a major boost for the city.

“To have Edinburgh independently recognised as one of the top 30 international association destinations in the world is a huge achievement and a testament to the hard work of a city-wide team of business tourism professionals,” she said.

“The sheer diversity of associations that choose to host their meeting in Edinburgh last year is a reflection of Edinburgh’s growing global reputation as a leading hub of excellence across a huge range of fields, including life science, informatics, sustainability and creative industries.”

Convention Edinburgh recently said Edinburgh has seen a “solid start” to the year in its efforts to attract new business with confirmed wins including the European Group for Organisational Studies Colloquium taking place in July 2019 with some 1,200 delegates expected, bringing a total of £4m in ­economic benefit to the city.

Business events represent an estimated 20 per cent of all tourism spend north of the Border. On average business tourists spend one and a half to two times more than leisure tourists while visiting Scotland.