Glasgow has beaten off strong competition from China, Italy and Switzerland to bring one of the world’s most prestigious conferences to Glasgow.
More than 3,000 delegates from across the globe will travel to Glasgow in 2022 for the World Congress of Soil Science, which will take place at the Scottish Exhibition + Conference Centre (SECC).
It will mark the first time that the conference has been held in Scotland and more than 80 years since it was last held in the UK in 1936. It will also inject more than £5.4 million into the local economy and secure some 16,000 room nights, providing a welcome boost to the city’s hotels, restaurants, shops, bars and other businesses.
The announcement was made by the International Union of Soil Sciences (IUSS) at the 20th Word Congress of Soil Science, which took place in June 2014 at the International Convention Centre on Jeju Island, South Korea.
The city’s bid, which won by a clear majority, was delivered in partnership by the British Society of Soil Science (BSSS), Glasgow City Marketing Bureau (GCMB) and the SECC.
The British Society of Soil Science presented its vision for 2022; ‘Soil science comes alive: crossing boundaries – changing society’. Through collaboration with international soil science societies, industry and wider stakeholder groups, the BSSS plans to make the 2022 Congress a focus for soil science across the world.
In the last financial year, Glasgow hosted 453 conferences, equating to £118 million in local economic benefit. Delegates now account for one in five hotel beds sold in Glasgow, underscoring the importance of conventions to the local economy.
Councillor Gordon Matheson, Leader of Glasgow City Council and Chair of Glasgow City Marketing Bureau, said: “Conferencing business forms an integral part of the city’s economic strategy. Securing the World Congress of Soil Science, at a time when global competition in the market is incredibly fierce, is fantastic news for Glasgow and underpins exactly why we are not just Scotland’s conference capital, but one of the world’s premier business tourism cities.
“This is testimony to the fantastic partnership working that exists between the different players across our conventions sector, from our venues, especially the SECC and our five universities, to our hotels, restaurants, transport providers, local ambassadors and all the other conference service providers that consistently strive to ensure Glasgow maintains its position as a first choice, global meetings destination.
“With this win Glasgow now has confirmed business on its books through to 2022 and we’re bidding for new conventions business as far out as 2024 – the most exciting thing about Glasgow is that there is still a lot more to come.”
Dr Kathryn Allton, Executive officer British Society of Soil Science, said: “Over the past four and a half years the Society has worked hard to develop both the vision and delivery for this bid. The announcement today to host the World Congress of Soil Science in Glasgow is a momentous occasion for UK science.
“The support we have received from Glasgow City Marketing Bureau and the SECC has been fantastic and we’re looking forward to welcoming our members from around the world to Glasgow in 2022, which will also mark the British Society of Soil Science’s 75th anniversary.”
Kathleen Warden, Director of Conference Sales at the SECC, said: “We’re delighted to be welcoming this important congress to the SECC which comes through the hard work and continued partnership between ourselves, GCMB and the British Society of Soil Science.
“This is the sort of event the SECC and Glasgow do really well, and winning this conference is a great endorsement of our collective ability to stage and organise major international conferences. The delegates will receive a warm welcome from everyone in the city. It will be a great event.”