Business and academic ambassadors have been recognised for the “key role” they have played in attracting business events to Edinburgh worth £941m to the local economy.

More than 75 representatives from the city’s business, scientific and academic elite attended a dinner last night as a tribute to their contribution in boosting the capital’s meetings industry over the past 21 years.

Tourism Secretary Fiona Hyslop MSP, who attended the event at the Corn Exchange, said: “Edinburgh is a city with a global reach and global ambitions. Attracting major conferences and exhibitions to our Capital, and to other towns and cities across the country, helps reinforce Scotland’s credentials as a top international destination for business tourists.

“Business ambassadors play a key role as the bridge between other key economic sectors and attracting events and helping secure inward investment. They have a compelling story to tell about Edinburgh.”

In the last 12 months alone ambassadors have played a role in confirming events such as Eurocities 2018 and the European Association of Neurosurgical Societies Workshop 2018.

The annual dinner was attended by world recognised leaders in their field, including the University of Edinburgh, Moredun Research Institute, NHS Research Scotland and The Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh.

The news comes as Edinburgh prepares to launch a new marketing campaign aimed at boosting links between the city’s meetings industry and key economic sectors.

Amanda Ferguson, Head of Business Tourism at Marketing Edinburgh

Amanda Ferguson, Head of Business Tourism at Marketing Edinburgh, said: “This month, Edinburgh will launch a new integrated marketing campaign that aims to build business tourism through creative collaboration across the city. The Edinburgh Ambassador Programme is the gold standard for that collective approach in winning new conferences and raising awareness of Edinburgh as one of the best meeting destinations in the world.

“From food and drink to medical and finance, Edinburgh’s new business tourism campaign will focus on seven sectors in which our city and Scotland excel. It is the ideal opportunity for local experts to get involved and help spread the word across their networks.”

Elaine Miller, Ambassador & Association Bid Manager, Convention Edinburgh, added: “By working closely with Convention Edinburgh and our city partners, ambassadors play a crucial role not only in bringing new events to Edinburgh, but raising the global profile of Edinburgh’s centres of excellence. Across key sectors, such as life sciences, renewables, technology and creative industries, our ambassadors are helping to generate future interest and investment in Edinburgh and Scotland.

“We are lucky to have such passionate advocates for Edinburgh, who genuinely appreciate the value business tourism brings. I would like to thank all ambassadors who have contributed to Edinburgh’s success.”