Conference campaign brings in £3m extra business to area

A CAMPAIGN to promote York and Scarborough as big players in the conference industry has helped bring in almost £3m into North Yorkshire's economy.

A series of high-profile events have been booked after the initiative was launched at the start of the year to create a "venue finding" service for 100 locations in York, the Yorkshire Moors and coast. A dinner for the British Society of Paediatric Dentistry was held at the National Railway Museum in York last month, while the Royal College of Surgeons had a conference in the city in May.

The most lucrative deal has seen a series of conferences organised for September and October for Rotary clubs which will be held at Scarborough Spa, bringing in a total of more than 1.5m from bookings, accommodation, food, transport, entertainment and shopping.

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Marketing manager for York and Scarborough Conferences Laura Freer said: "The history and culture associated with our area and the stunning backdrop this offers is a big attraction to event and conference organisers."

Other events planned for this year include conferences for the National Council for Divorced, Separated and Widowed, and the National Association of Probation Officers as well as a reunion of the 8th Destroyer Flotilla Association.

York is ranked seventh in the top 10 business tourism cities in England, while Scarborough generated 9m of business tourism spend in 2008. In 2008, business tourism was responsible for a 203m turnover in York alone.

York and Scarborough Conferences is a partnership between Visit York and the Yorkshire Moors and Coast Tourism Partnerships, supported by Welcome to Yorkshire, York Council, Scarborough Borough Council, Yorkshire Forward and tourism businesses.