A group of Perthshire’s key venues and events businesses has helped formally relaunch the Perthshire Business Tourism Group – in an effort to drive more business tourism into Perthshire.
Taking place at the Hilton Dunkeld, current members, including Gleneagles, Hilton Dunkeld, Perth Racecourse, and Blue Sky Events – joined Perth & Kinross Council and industry leaders to celebrate the official relaunch.
The initiative was reinvigorated with additional support from VisitScotland and Perth & Kinross Council – where it will be closely linked to the aims of the wider Perth City Plan.
Local firms of all sizes are also being encouraged to join the group – which will directly target the meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions (MICE) markets. A new website which supports this focus has also been launched at www.meetingsperthshire.co.uk
Catriona Anderson, who heads the Perthshire Business Tourism Group, believes collaboration is especially important for the sector, as marketing the region as a whole appeals greatly to parties looking for a range of services.
She said: “When a buyer is looking for a location for a trade event – and is perhaps unfamiliar with the regions and attractions of Scotland – it is hugely beneficial to showcase all the incredible businesses and opportunities Perthshire can offer under one site.
“The great thing about this initiative is that it provides opportunities for smaller suppliers with a limited marketing budget to be represented alongside internationally known names – and build relationships that can lead to further offers and collaborations.”
“That in turn gives the buyer the benefit of dealing with trusted institutions but also the local character and charm of the smaller names.”
For £500 a year members will benefit from the opportunity of attendance and professional representation at key events. In the past this has tended to be focussed on events within the UK, however international events in partnership with VisitScotland are currently being considered.
Councillor John Kellas, Convener of Enterprise & Infrastructure Committee for Perth & Kinross Council, believes it is important that the region builds its reputation in the sector. He is keen to see the area capitalise on successes in 2015 at the hugely influential Showcasing Scotland and the UK Craft Distillers Conference, which were held at Gleneagles and Atholl Palace respectively.
Councillor Kellas said: “The relaunch provides a great opportunity for businesses and the region on the whole to build on recent successes in the MICE market.
“We are rightly proud of Perth and Kinross and its many and diverse attractions. Those very assets are what we need to capitalise on to bring the region to the attention of trade and event organisers.
“By working together in collaboration with the Perthshire Business Tourism Group there are great opportunities to support smaller businesses alongsidet hose established MICE market businesses, to enable them to grow and develop.”
New members will benefit from presence on the new Meetings Perthshire website and will feature in targeted newsletters – which are currently circulated to more than 700 conference buyers around the globe.
Further to this, collaborative PR campaigns, networking and the opportunity to devise new joint programmes and packages are all potential benefits to a group member.
Michaela Ruff, Conference and Event Manager at Perth Concert Hall, said: “The Perthshire Business Tourism Group gives members of all sizes easily affordable access to marketing opportunities on a large scale.
“It is a fantastic method of promoting the area to a wider audience – with a positive spin-off being that the businesses involved tend to develop a closer affiliation with each other.”
More information on Invest in Perth can be found www.investinperth.co.uk/
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