Thursday 7 April 2011

Expensive Expo Aberdeen...

It was the same the last time and it will be again but isn't  Aberdeen bloody expensive for the hosting of a tourism conference.

I can understand elements of the argument for taking the event on the road but in this instance it is outweighed alomost entirely by the negatives. Price being at this moment in time being one of the key ones. Like everyone else transport costs are becoming painful and Scottish travel trade operators are going to find it very much so as they head to Aberdeen. And yes I know that these are the issues that face the Highlands and Islands and the north of Scotland on a daily basis but that doesn't mean that we have to take the annual Scottish Tourism showcase where it is more difficult for more (not all) to get to and certainly more expensive once you get there.

And the issue of room rates should hardly be a surprise to us all but the weighting of the cost to both the public and the private sector must surely be taken into account. From the public sector point of view it must cost at least 30 to 40% more to VisitScotland's budget to accommodate the buyers coming in compared to Glasgow room rates. For the exhibitor, that is the Scottish travel trade at large, the £1000 plus stand space can be doubled with two nights dinner bed and breakfast for two in a city centre hotel on Tuesday and Wednesday of next week.

Look at the screengrab for an out of town three start property. Yes times may be tough just now and we all have to maximise the opportunites for revenue when they arrive but this is a tourism event, the hoteliers know it's a tourism event and yet they will raise the prices to more than double the charge for the Friday night.

I realise that there are a whole load of reasons and many of them good for taking the show on the road but the cost of doing this business should in future be one of the key priorities.

We can perhaps reflect on this as we sit in the traffic jam on the bypass having left the AECC at 5pm on Thursday evening.

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