01 Feb 2019
Final preparations are underway as tourism trade association UKinbound gets ready to host its largest ever annual convention, on Wednesday 6 and Thursday 7 February at Glasgow’s Royal Concert Hall. Taking place in the city for the first time in 31 years, over 280 delegates from across the UK are set to arrive for the two-day tourism business conference; an industry worth over £2.28 billion to the Scottish economy.
Delegates, representing travel trade buyers and tour operators from across Glasgow’s key international visitor markets, will have the opportunity to attend a topical panel debate featuring representatives from VisitBritain, VisitScotland, Rabbie’s Tours and Jurys Inn & Leonardo Hotels, as well as a keynote address from columnist and political commentator Ayesha Hazarika MBE.
Delegates will also hear about key trends and forecasts for the future of the UK’s £24 billion inbound tourism industry and have the opportunity to attend a range of seminars to help grow their business, driving jobs and growth across the whole of the UK.
Alongside the association’s annual general meeting, there will be appointment led business workshops, networking events and UKinbound’s black tie dinner and Awards for Excellence ceremony held within Glasgow’s iconic City Chambers.
Destination partners Glasgow Life and VisitScotland, together with additional funding partners Scottish Enterprise and Glasgow Airport, have worked closely with UKinbound to ensure that all those attending can experience the quality and diversity of both Glasgow and the west of Scotland’s tourism sector.
Familiarisation trips will be held primarily for tour operator delegates both before and after the convention with transport provided by Event Connect UK. Delegates will have the opportunity to explore key attractions including Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, Mackintosh at The Willow, The Tenement House and Pollok House in Glasgow, as well as The Ardgowan Estate in Greenock, beautiful Mount Stuart on the Isle of Bute and enjoy a cruise on Loch Lomond.
UKinbound’s chief executive officer, Joss Croft said, “This year’s convention is poised to be UKinbound’s largest and most successful to-date, and we’re thrilled to be bringing over 280 of our members to the captivating city of Glasgow. Tourism is a substantial revenue earner for businesses across the UK and Scotland, and our convention will provide delegates with the commercial opportunities and insight needed to help strengthen their businesses in 2019, while enabling them to discover what Scotland has to offer.”
Hosting this year’s UKinbound convention is a boost for Glasgow’s tourism economy and the city’s Tourism and Visitor Plan, which aims to attract one million more overnight visitors and create 6,600 new jobs by 2023. It is the latest event in an ongoing programme of successful industry engagement in Glasgow led by UKinbound with support from Glasgow Life and wider city partners.
Councillor David McDonald, chair of Glasgow Life and depute leader of Glasgow City Council, said: “Through our tourism plan, our focus is on showcasing Glasgow as an outstanding global city – one that’s welcoming, vibrant and culturally rich with an unrivalled visitor experience and world-class customer service.
“Working with the UK’s inbound tourism industry to enhance its knowledge of Glasgow and Scotland, and to showcase the amazing breadth of our tourism products and services to potential buyers and tour operators from across the world is key to attracting more international visitors and helps send a clear message to our overseas markets that Glasgow is open for business.
“Glasgow is also the gateway to Scotland and our location at the heart of major air, rail, sea and road networks means we’re a perfect touring base as part of a wider Scottish itinerary; allowing visitors to enjoy all the attractions of a modern, vibrant city before exploring the country’s spectacular rugged landscape, with the natural and scenic beauty of Loch Lomond, Burns Country and historic Argyll as well as castles, unrivalled golf courses and whisky distilleries right on our doorstep.
“We’re delighted to be hosting UKinbound’s annual convention this year and we’re very much looking forward to welcoming their members and delegates next week.”