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Business events contribute £500 million for Leeds economy

Survey commissioned by VisitLeeds and ConferenceLeeds reveals rise in leisure and business tourism

Pictured: Leeds' First Direct Arena, which hosted the Conference and Hospitality Show earlier this year

Around four million delegates visited Leeds for business events last year, according to a new benchmarking study.

VisitLeeds and convention bureau ConferenceLeeds commissioned the STEAM survey to measure the economic impact of the tourism industry in the city. Although primarily focused on leisure tourism, which generated a 5 per cent uplift to 26.2 million visits from 2013, the study revealed business tourism contributes £501m to the local economy, attracting 4 million delegates in 2015. Overnight stays were also up, by 12 per cent. 

Jennifer Young, head of ConferenceLeeds, said: “We work hard on creating bespoke conferences in order to leave a lasting impression on organisers and delegates, with the overall aim being to convert business tourists into leisure tourists and drive repeat visits to the city. Having already held several large-scale conferences in the city this year, and with several more in the pipeline, we’re excited to see Leeds go from strength to strength.”

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