Scottish capital Edinburgh will be leaving BestCities Global Alliance at the end of 2019, after funding cuts from the public sector devastated Marketing Edinburgh.
Marketing Edinburgh is the destination’s crucial convention and visitors bureau (CVB), responsible for promoting the city to the world as a place to visit and hold events.
The organisation was hit with an 89% budget cut over the next two financial years. The financial hit makes it impossible for the city to continue as part of BestCities Global Alliance, and eradicates any pipelined work within the CVB.
The departure comes after an extensive lobbying campaign, supported by BestCities and hundreds more of the world’s business leaders across tourism and convention industries, was unsuccessful in changing the budget cuts.
Paul Vallee, managing director of BestCities Global Alliance, said: “Since the beginning of the Alliance, Marketing Edinburgh has been an incredible founding partner and we’re extremely disappointed that this vital funding for them has been cut. Marketing Edinburgh has acted as the guardian of Edinburgh’s international and UK profile and reputation, and without this, a dangerous gap will form, threatening the significant economic, social and cultural benefits for the city.
Vallee went on to add: “We cannot stress the value and importance of CVBs more. These organisations bring massive impact as economic generators, stimulators and connectors, boosting the destination’s profile, economy and encouraging new business to the city.
Without a body that unites public and private sectors in a city’s promotion and economic development, destinations severely compromise their ability to attract talent, conferences, business and visitors. The ability to talk to those who live and work in the city, as consumers, will cease. These are all critical pipelines to a thriving city.
Valle closed his comment: BestCities stood in solidarity throughout the lobbying process with Marketing Edinburgh, and will offer the same support to any destination CVB, current or future, in the same way. We are deeply saddened by the departure, and we wish the best to Edinburgh.”
Edinburgh will remain as part of BestCities on a reduced capacity until the end of the year, and will part ways in the new year. As a result of the budget cuts, Edinburgh will become the only major city in the developed world without a Destination Marketing Organisation, which includes the CVB.