Scotland - The Perfect Stage
Sunday, June 4, 2017
The importance of face-to-face meetings and conferences remains crucial to businesses worldwide and Scotland continues to be an exceptionally appealing destination for hosting live events. We are confident in building this reputation in 2017 due to our award-winning facilities, venues, and suppliers across the country – which will be bolstered by millions of pounds of investment from partners over the next few years.
Wherever you’re starting from, it’s never been easier to meet in Scotland. There are excellent scheduled flights from the rest of the UK, and direct services from North America and Europe to Scotland’s main airports. Growth in airline connectivity to Scotland from all parts of the world – from the Arabian Gulf to North America – is transforming access for business events, with new direct routes from WestJet, Delta, Qatar, Etihad, Air Canada Rouge, and Air France airlines, and we expect growth in 2017 and beyond. With passenger numbers soaring, Scotland’s airports are also expanding thanks to the confidence delivered through increased visitor numbers and growing airline connections. Over the last decade, the number of passengers travelling through Edinburgh Airport has increased by 20%, and passenger numbers are predicted to rise by a further 18%, from 11.1 million last year to 13.1 million in 2020. The airport has also unveiled expansion plans over the next quarter of a century and launched a public consultation on its “masterplan” for development from now until 2040.
Scotland is known for its beautiful landscapes, castles, history and unique traditions. But Scotland also attracts MICE events thanks to its growing global reputation as a contemporary business destination. We are home to academic excellence throughout the country and can boast a proud tradition of innovation, invention and pioneering spirit. This means that associations, academic institutions and companies with cutting edge technology will all feel at home staging events in Scotland. Our principal cities are home to world-class live event venues such as Glasgow’s 12,000-seat Scottish Exhibition + Conference Centre (SECC), which is one of the world’s five busiest conference centres and also features the SSE Hydro, a state-of- the-art versatile event space that has been voted number two in the world by Pollstar. The Edinburgh International Conference Centre (EICC) recently underwent an impressive £30m expansion – bolstering its excellent existing facilities including an innovative moving floor system, and in 2019 Aberdeen will be home to the new £333m Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre (AECC), featuring a cutting- edge 12,500 person capacity event arena.
2017 also brings Scotland’s Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology. Scotland’s history and heritage is what defines the country for many visitors. From World Heritage Sites to ancient monuments, cultural traditions to Scotland’s myths, stories and legends, the year will shine a spotlight on some of the country’s greatest assets. Business Events visitors are encouraged to delve in to Scotland’s past and host their next live event in one of Scotland’s unique venues. Recent million pound developments to some of Scotland’s most historic properties include 15th century Borthwick Castle just outside of Edinburgh, Crossbasket Castle, a luxury hotel, restaurant and event venue in South Lanarkshire, and Meldrum House in Aberdeenshire – dating back 800 years and offering every modern comfort.
All-in-all, Scotland continues to go from strength-to-strength as a business events destination, combining the spirit of Scotland with hard and fast reasons to be here. We look forward to welcoming even more business events over the next year.