VisitScotland looks to ‘Mice’ market with Meet in Scotland event at Crieff Hydro


25th September 2014

Perthshire hosts dozens of corporate travel buyers from across Europe next month as Scotland seeks to make the most of the lucrative meetings and incentive market.

Specialist tour operators from France, Germany, Austria and Switzerland will join others from the UK and Ireland as VisitScotland’s dedicated business tourism unit seeks to sell the country and its tourism experiences.

During the year to March, Dundee, Angus, Perthshire and Fife attracted inquiries with a total value of more than £26.5 million in the meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions (Mice) market.

VisitScotland hopes its marketing initiative, with intensive, ‘appointment-driven workshops’ and other events, will attract more custom from the sector.

The quango’s business tourism unit wants to attract corporate visitors because they are comparatively high-spenders, and are key opinion-formers among their countrymen.

It regards the incentives and rewards market — in which top executives ‘win’ trips based on their performance — as particularly valuable.

Meetings and incentives marketing manager Amanda Ferguson said that the two-day event at Crieff Hydro would allow the buyers to enjoy an experience similar to their clients, including features such as networking dinners and ceilidhs.

“Scotland boasts a fantastic array of venues and incentive activities,” she said.

“Being able to showcase these to buyers first hand, in-country, is often the clincher when it comes to securing business,” she added, hailing the “huge value” of Mice-related inquiries from abroad.

“The inaugural Meet in Scotland event, in the stunning surrounds of Crieff Hydro, will allow dozens of Scottish businesses to meet with buyers from all over Europe,” she said.

Exposure from events like the Commonwealth Games, Ryder Cup and cinematic successes like latest James Bond film Downfall are also likely to drive up interest.

Companies attending will include major travel firms such as the Thomson parent TUI Travel, Swiss tourism group Kuoni, Paris-based travel management company Carlson Wagonlit and also Franco-American oil and gas service firm Dresser-Rand.

Dresser-Rand executive assistant Zhe Geng said Scotland was famous for its “awesome scenery” and abundance of natural resources, and could be in line to host her group’s next annual sales gathering.

“Dresser-Rand’s sales department organises annual internal sales meetings for approximately 70 to 100 participants from all over the world, and we try our best to vary locations,” she said. “Location-wise, Scotland is easily accessible for our European collaborators.

“I would be delighted to make Scotland a potential location for our next annual meeting and give a chance for my collaborators to see and experience Scotland, and make this forthcoming meeting truly memorable.”

More than 30 top-end tourism businesses will also be represented at the event, including Crieff Hydro, Fairmont 
St Andrews, Apex Hotels, Perth Concert Hall and the National Trust for Scotland.

“Meet in Scotland provides a fantastic opportunity for us to meet face-to-face with key event buyers who we couldn’t ordinarily reach, and showcase the National Trust for Scotland’s diverse portfolio of 19 castles, stately homes and hunting lodges,” said the organisation’s Rebecca Sloan.

“Following the event we’re also lucky enough to be welcoming a number of buyers to experience our unique heritage venues first hand and meet our dedicated teams — activity we know leads to higher conversions.”

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