Business tourism’s £127m contribution to local economy

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Business tourism brought in over £127 million worth of income to Bournemouth in the last financial year - up by more than three per cent on the previous 12 months.

Of this, £73m was injected into the local economy by delegates and business visitors at conferences, exhibitions and other events staged at the Bournemouth International Centre (BIC), Pavilion Theatre and Ballroom.

A further £54.5 million (a 12 per cent increase year on year) came from some 209,000 delegates at residential and non-residential events staged in the town during the year.

The calculations for April 2007 to March 2008 showed that the BIC and Pavilion attracted 68,608 conference delegates and 72,853 exhibition visitors over that period, equating to a total of 253,820 overnight stays for the year.

Using the UK Tourist Board's recognised Estimate of Delegate Expend-iture calculation the average spend per delegate determines the economic benefit figure, which brings the combined total to £127.6 million.

Clive Tyers, head of Conferences, Exhibitions and Events commented: "The general trend in the conference and exhibition industry for large venues like the BIC, is still buoyant despite the general economic gloom and we have maintained the economic benefit at roughly the same level as the 2006-2007 financial year.

"The business we attract to the town has a massive knock-on effect on the hotel industry, in terms of overnight stays, facilitating smaller conference and exhibition events, as well as contributing to employment in Bournemouth's thriving restaurant, bar and club industry."

"Lots of the Bournemouth venues also benefit from bolt on work from larger conferences and exhibitions at the BIC," says Karina Gregory, Bournemouth International Conference Bureau manager.

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