Neil Brownlee, Head of Business Events at VisitScotland, has delivered a speech offering insight into Scotland’s strategic approach to the meetings industry at the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) 39th Plenary Meeting of Affiliate Members, in Chengdu, China.

Brownlee, alongside two representatives from IMEX Group and the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA), took part yesterday in a panel session dedicated to the Meetings Industry.

Drawing on his 28 years’ experience in the international tourism and hospitality industry, he was set to discuss Scotland’s unique business events offering as well as the country’s strategic approach to working with partners at a national and international level.

He was also to provide valuable insight into INNOVATETHENATION, part of VisitScotland’s national ambassador programme, that brings together experts and influencers in an engaging series of talks centred around Scotland’s growth sectors.

Neil said: “I am delighted to represent VisitScotland at the UNWTO Plenary Meeting and to have the opportunity to engage with my international meetings and events counterparts. This opportunity proves once again the importance of Scotland as a key destination for business events.”

The working groups of the Affiliate Members Programme are defined as multidisciplinary teams, in which various UNWTO members with common interests in specific fields collaborate. The Plenary Session was to be structured around the topics of accessible tourism, destinations at stake, the meetings industry, quality in tourism, scientific tourism, technology and tourism and the youth of the tourism and travel industry.

Brownlee leads a team of 13 dedicated business event specialists based in Scotland, London and North America and is responsible for the strategy and delivery of VisitScotland’s meetings and events industry, which generates nearly £2bn a year for Scotland’s economy.

Last month Brownless was nominated as part of the next fleet of board officers and directors for the Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA).

The association has made public its proposed list of leaders for 2018 and beyond, which is led by chair Claire Smith of the Vancouver Convention Centre.

The association is calling for final nominations ahead of the formal election of the proposed board, which will take place following the 62nd PCMA annual meeting at Nashville in January.

Brownlee, head of business events at VisitScotland, has been nominated as director. Other proposed board members are Gregory O’Dell from Events DC (chair-elect), Stuart Ruff-Lyon of Risk and Insurance Management Society (secretary-treasurer) and Mary Pat Heftman of National Restaurant Association (immediate past chair).

Brownlee’s tenure as director will be for a three-year term, and he has been nominated alongside Carolyn Pund of Cisco Systems, Kathleen Ratcliffe of Explore St. Louis, Megan Tate of Wells Fargo Bank and Christine Trimmer from International Society for Infectious Diseases.