Conference News March 2019 - Page 8

8 News Council leader: Glasgow rail link axe a “betrayal” UK Conference & Meetings Survey 2019 launched Glasgow City Council has abandoned its plans to build a direct rail link between Glasgow city centre and Glasgow Airport. The rail link was supposed to be part of the £1.13bn Glasgow City Region deal agreed in 2014, and was intended to be operational by 2025. Following delays and concerns over capacity at Glasgow Central station, the council has stated they will explore other options. Glasgow Labour leader Frank McAveety said: “Glasgow is one of the few cities of its size that does not have a dedicated rail link to its airport. This is a betrayal for the city.” Conference and meeting venues are being urged to take part in the 2019 ‘UK Conference and Meeting Survey’ (UKCAMS), principally sponsored by VisitBritain. The UKCAMS 2019 report is scheduled for publication in June. The 2018 research found that the conference and meetings sector was worth an estimated £18.1bn to the UK economy, with some 1.29m meetings taking place in 2017. Visit New venue powered by the Underground Property company Unibail- Rodamco-Westfield and Broadwick Venues are set to launch Exhibition, a new venue for London at the end of 2019 at Westfield London. Exhibition will repurpose the Grade II listed Dimco East, a Victorian building originally built as an electricity generating station for the London Underground. The heritage building will undergo restoration carried out by Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield to bring it into public use for the first time in its history. Confidence in UK tourism up despite looming Brexit UKinbound has released its latest Business Barometer Figures, which show confidence in the tourism industry is on the rise. The research, which was collected by Qa Research, found that 59% of UKinbound members stated they were confident about business in the upcoming 12 months. This was the highest rate recorded since October 2017. The increase in confidence was influenced by an influx of forward bookings, the value of the pound, and increased interest from North American and Asian markets. Cultural experiences are viewed as key, while staff recruitment and retention were cited as general concerns. Throughout 2018 China and the US remained the two top growth markets, and 28% of members felt that over-tourism has a negative impact on their business. AEG and SMG merge AEG has announced a merger of its venue management subsidiary AEG Facilities with SMG. The move creates a new standalone global facility management company - ASM Global. SMG is an Onex portfolio company and Onex and AEG’s subsidiary will each own 50% of the new entity. The terms of the deal were not disclosed. The new portfolio includes arenas, stadiums, convention centres and performing arts centres, with more than 310 venues across five continents. EventLAB confirms 2019 venue EventLAB 2019 will take place at the Business Design Centre, Islington, London on the 14-15 October, organisers Hire Space has announced. Head of EventLAB, Felicity Cator, commented: “The Business Design Centre is iconic, from its glass-fronted architecture to the well-known events held there. We’ve worked closely with the events team for some time now and their forward-thinking approach to projects and business is really exciting. “We’re proud to be bringing EventLAB 2019 to life with them.”