Business tourism generates almost £12 million of direct delegate expenditure in Dundee and Angus, representing 12% of the total visitor expenditure in the area. More than 225,000 delegates visit the area for events like meetings, conferences and exhibitions and they are responsible for almost 42,000 bed nights in the area. With an overall impact of 1353 full time equivalent jobs supported by the £60m impact of delegate spend throughout the economy.
All visitors are valuable to our economy, but it’s a fact that business visitors spend 1.5 times more on a trip than their leisure counterparts. It’s also a fact that business tourism is far less seasonal than leisure tourism. Much business tourism activity takes place at a time of the year when leisure tourism is traditionally at its lowest volume. This is excellent news for accommodation providers as these visitors sustain occupancy and revenue per available room (revpar) during typically quieter times of the year. Business tourism remains one of the fastest growing sectors of the tourism industry and is constantly changing and evolving. The nature, value and extent are affected by the economic landscape and also by rapidly changing technology. One of the most important changes is in the digital space where delegates all carry their own technical devices – in some cases multiple devices – and expect to be ‘connected’ at all times. If 200 delegates attend a conference then organisers have to expect that their wifi connection may have to cope with up to 500 individual devices seeking a signal. Delegates and organisers all cite a ‘need for speed’ with superfast broadband heading the list of most required technical elements.
It is predicted that by 2018, 35% of all online travel booking will be via mobile, so accommodation providers need to be providing this functionality to deliver what this lucrative market needs. Online check in is a growing trend for frequent business travellers who want to pick up their key following checking in with their own tablet or phone device for a ‘fuss free’ experience. Ease of access to a venue remains a key issue for those organising a conference or event and they want greater interface between modes of transport. Much business tourism activity has a natural affinity with cities – providing delegates with good access from the UK and beyond; excellent and flexible venues and a range of dining opportunities and add on activities. It’s not just about filling bedrooms and conference centres. It’s about supporting Scotland’s international business and investment priorities by introducing the nation to key influencers, stakeholders, entrepreneurs and investors from around the world – and these people experiencing Scotland, first-hand at a successful event in Dundee and Angus. (Statistics and information courtesy of Dundee and Angus Convention Bureau)