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Hull looks to Glasgow for inspiration

Hull has launched its Conference Champions initiative, which was marked with a special event at the new £36m Bonus Arena.

The initiative aspires to see the city recruit its own Conference Champions, across a wide-range of professions, who are passionate about promoting Hull as a conferences destination.

Hull officials say they are looking to replicate the success of Glasgow. The Scottish city launched a similar initiative 28 years ago and in 2015 Glasgow Conference Ambassadors generated £70m of events for the city.

Professor John Lennon from Glasgow Caledonian University is scheduled to speak at the Bonus Arena about the importance of bringing conferences to cities.

Professor Lennon is the director of the Moffat Centre for Travel and Tourism Business Development at Glasgow Caledonian University - the UK’s largest university-based tourism consultancy and research centre.

Professor Lennon said: “Champion initiatives are fundamental to cities building the conference element of the tourism offer. Every competitive destination has to mix leisure and tourism with business and conference tourism. A Conference Champion programme builds real support for this effort through a city’s very best ambassadors - its people.”

He will speak alongside city leaders including Hull City Council chief executive Matt Jukes, Bonus Arena general manager Dan Harris and Hull City Council portfolio holder for leisure and tourism, Councillor Dave Craker.

Cllr Craker added: “These are exciting times for Hull. We’ve invested a lot of money in the city over recent years with large projects such as the public realm work and the Bonus Arena.

“There has also been significant private sector investment in venues with the opening of the new DoubleTree by Hilton, and major refurbishment of many of the conference facilities at the University of Hull to name just two.

“We know how fantastic Hull is, but it’s now important to open up our city to a wider audience.

“Conferences bring valuable income to the local economy, as we’ve seen from what other destinations have achieved. Over recent years Hull has hosted a range of successful conferences, but following recent investments in infrastructure, hotels, event spaces, bars, restaurants and entertainment packages we are eager and ready to welcome more conferences to Hull.