Ranging from old-fashioned medieval jousting to a new 12,000-capacity entertainment arena expansion, Scotland is transforming into a top destination choice for business travel.
VisitScotland, the country’s national tourism organization, and 14 other representatives are preparing to showcase some of Scotland’s offerings at IMEX America, a large meetings industry tradeshow, on Oct. 15-17 in Las Vegas.
“Between the large capital investments into our tourism infrastructure and offering new innovative culture arts and events that highlight our history, we are proud of all that is happening in Scotland,” said Richard Knight, marketing manager of Business Tourism Unit, VisitScotland. “We remain committed to the North American market and know attendees will be interested in learning about our 14 partners who perfectly reflect our culture.”
This year’s partners showcase Scotland’s blend of luxury meeting accommodations with rich cultural history, providing a platform for unique meeting experiences:
Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Center (AECC): Greeting over 300,000 meeting and event attendees each year, the Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Center is a seasoned meeting venue that blends Scotland’s natural and historic feel with innovative food and beverage, audio-visual, technology and event offerings.
Apex Hotels: Operating contemporary hotels in city centers across the UK, Apex Hotels consists of four meeting venues in Edinburgh and one in Dundee. This year, Apex launched a new website designed to provide a more social experience, one that adapts to the needs of the guests whether they are planning a large conference or a small meeting.
The Balmoral Hotel: Preferred by meeting planners for ease in accessibility and venue flexibility, this property has 188 suites and rooms, 10 conference suites, and readily available history and culture experiences. The Balmoral recently launched a special afternoon tea featuring a selection of homemade cakes, scones and traditional finger sandwiches – a favorite among international travelers looking to experience some local flare.
Cashel Travel: Experts in conference planning in Scotland, Cashel Travel’s dedicated team oversees the coordination of business and conference events. From the initial planning stages to evaluating the experience, Cashel Travel excels in ensuring that every meeting arrangement has been satisfied.
The Dome: Located in the heart of Edinburgh’s New Town, The Dome has established itself as a unique luxury venue that can accommodate a variety of events. It also includes a popular bar and restaurant among locals.
Edinburgh International Conference Centre (EICC): With the opening of a newly expanded conference space last spring, the EICC unveiled the first moving floor system. The moving floor technology enables the suite to be reconfigured into many different set-ups from flat-floored exhibition space to tiered theatre and arena set ups in a fraction of the time required in convention halls.
Glasgow City Marketing Bureau (GCMB): Gearing up to play host to the 2014 Commonwealth Games, Glasgow is versed in hosting meetings and conventions. TripAdvisor rated Glasgow as the UK’s third best destination based on millions of reviews and opinions from travelers.
The Gleneagles Hotel: Home to three award-winning golf courses, this golf hotel will host the Ryder Cup in 2014. With the championship course ready ahead of the tournament, guests can take advantage of the open course before a morning meeting, use the new Refresh Day Spa Ritual at Gleneagles spa or dine on locally-sourced produce at Restaurant Andrew Fairlie.
Historic Scotland: Safeguarding the nation’s historic environment and promoting its understanding and enjoyment on behalf of Scottish Ministers, Historic Scotland recently celebrated a record-breaking number of visitors interested in viewing medieval jousting as well as the opening of a new display of The Govan Stones, one of Scotland’s best collections of early medieval sculpture.
Old Course Hotel Golf Resort & Spa: Located on the world’s most famous golf course, the Old Course Hotel features 144 refurbished bedrooms and suites. The resort boasts of postcard views, Kohler Waters Spa, six unique dining and drinking experiences including an award-winning whisky bar, and a state-of-the-art conference wing.
The Scotsman Hotel: Being the former home of The Scotsman, a Scottish newspaper from Edinburgh, the Scotsman Hotel is a landmark Victorian building that boasts an intimate 56 guest rooms and 13 suites. Offering more than just guest rooms, the hotel also accommodates the North Bridge Brasserie & Bar that serves true Scottish cuisine and meeting facilities, including a large mixed-use space that can be broken out into three separate areas.
Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre (SECC): Adding to the roster of meeting and conference centers, SECC welcomes The Hydro, a 12,000-capacity entertainment arena, in September. Putting it among the top five busiest conference centers in the world, The Hydro is expected to garner one million visitors each year.
Sheraton Grand Hotel and Spa, Edinburgh: Following a full multi-million dollar renovation, the Sheraton Grand Hotel and Spa re-opened with more than 15,000 square feet of newly renovated meeting and event space, 269 refurbished guest rooms and a new restaurant and bar. Meant to appeal to both business and leisure travelers, all guest rooms and facilities were designed in a contemporary Scottish style featuring state-of-the-art technology.
Spectra: Offering 60 years of destination, conference and event management, Spectra can craft a meeting, conference or event in Scotland while tapping into years of established working relationships with Scotland’s venues.
To schedule a meeting with VisitScotland at IMEX America, contact Megan.McHale@aboutdci.com or call 212-444-7135.