Conference trade worth half a billion to city

Business tourism generated £573m for Manchester's economy during 2009, according to a new report.

The figure represents the takings from 4.2m delegates visiting the city to attend 56,900 business events during the year – a rate of 155 events a day. Of those delegates, 2m stayed overnight.

The Conference Value & Volume Study was funded by the North West Development Agency and commissioned by Visit Manchester and TEAM Tourism Consulting, was based on a survey of conference venues in Greater Manchester.

The breakdown of sectors organising events was found to be:

  • corporate events 55%
  • government / public sector 32%
  • national association conferences 11%
  • international association conferences 2%

Paul Simpson, managing director of Visit Manchester, the tourist board, said: "The study shows just how big a contribution the city's conference and business tourism sector makes to the local economy.

"As the organisation responsible for attracting conference and business events to the city, it is important for us to know the value of the industry so that we can benchmark the city against other conference hubs and monitor the impact of business tourism marketing activity.

"There have been major developments in Greater Manchester's conference product over recent years, in terms of developing the infrastructure and support services that organisers expect of a world class conference destination and we're confident the city region will continue to generate a significant economic benefit from this sector in the future."

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