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Aberdeen creates a buzz for new convention centre

Bureau updates event planners on 2019 opening of Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre and other developments

Pictured: Neil Brownlee talks through the new developments at the Aberdeen Invasion evening at London's Café Royal on Thursday night

Aberdeen put on a show-stopping evening for UK events professionals as it begins to drum up support for its anticipated convention centre, as well as other major developments.

The event, dubbed the Aberdeen Invasion, took place at Royal Café in Piccadilly Circus on Thursday night, as an update for more than 60 events professionals on the city's initiatives during a three-course Scottish-themed dinner.

It was hosted by the Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre (AECC), along with partners VisitAberdeenshire and VisitScotland.

Neil Brownlee, head of business events at VisitScotland, said: "The new AECC is going to be an absolute game changer for Scotland when it opens in 2019. It's going to blow Glasgow, Edinburgh and Dundee out of the water. It's the result of a £333 million investment; that's not a small figure, those numbers are not used often.

"That along with what else is going on in Aberdeen and Scotland in general, Aberdeen isn't just the place to come in the next four to five years, it's the place come in the next month. And to quote a colleague, Aberdeen is inexpensive."

Brownlee was referring to the city's falling hotel prices, the result of a fleet of hotel arrivals and falling oil prices. Hotstats recently revealed hotel rates fell 30 per cent to an average of £67 in 2016, as openings such as the forthcoming Hampton by Hilton Aberdeen drive competition among hoteliers.

Brownlee outlined other major developments taking place, including the construction of 2,500 new bedrooms, a major extension to the city's airport, a re-development of the art gallery and a general re-development of the city centre. He added: "Aberdeen has a spectacular central area and it's going to transform the city centre."

The AECC will open 2019 and will be located next to the airport.

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