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EAZA to hold its annual conference in Edinburgh 2013
Hundreds of animal experts from across the zoo world will take part in a major international conference that will form part of Edinburgh Zoo’s centenary celebrations.

The European Association of Zoos and Aquaria (EAZA) will hold its annual conference for the first time in Edinburgh in 2013.

Owned by The Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS) which was founded in March 1909, Edinburgh Zoo first opened its doors to the public in July 1913.

One of Europe's leading centres of animal conservation, education and research Edinburgh Zoo works collectively with many other zoos and conservation agencies in the UK, Europe and around the world in co-ordinated conservation programmes, to help ensure the survival of many threatened animal species.

Research by the Edinburgh Convention Bureau (ECB) identified the EAZA conference as a suitable event for the city and supported the Zoo in a successful bid to host the meeting.

An estimated 600 EAZA members from up to 35 countries will attend the annual event which will be staged over 4 days in September 2013 at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre. The event will deliver £1.1 million to the local economy.

Formed in 1992, EAZA’s mission is to facilitate cooperation within the European zoo and aquarium community towards the goals of education, research and conservation.

David Windmill, Chief Executive of Edinburgh Zoo, said: “Everyone at Edinburgh Zoo is thrilled to be hosting the EAZA conference. We always welcome the chance to meet with our European colleagues to share and discuss vital animal conservation issues. It is particularly appropriate that this conference coincides with our centenary celebrations and we are grateful to Edinburgh Convention Bureau colleagues for their support in winning this event.”

Sue Stuart, Chief Executive of ECB, said: ”The decision by EAZA to bring its conference to Edinburgh for the first time during the Zoo’s centenary year is recognition of the excellent work our Zoo carries out in the fields of wildlife conservation and education.”

The EAZA conference is one 19 new events confirmed for Edinburgh within the last month that will be held between 2010 and 2013.

Between them these events will attract up to 3375 delegates and inject £3.2 million into the local economy.

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• ECB won 201 conferences during 2008/09 worth £73.5 million to the economy.

• Edinburgh is the most popular UK city after London for hosting international association meetings and is the 28th most popular business tourism destination in the world.

• In order to count towards ICCA ranking an event must rotate its location between a minimum of two countries and have at least 50 (international) delegates.

• The annual total value of Edinburgh’s business tourism is estimated at almost £300 million.

• The Edinburgh Ambassadors Programme matches recognised leaders in the city’s many areas of academic and commercial excellence with the professional marketing support of ECB staff who together work as a team to help them bring their international association’s conference to Edinburgh. Since 1996 the programme has helped bring more than 210 major events, worth almost £100 million, to the city.

• Edinburgh is a founder member of the international www.bestcities.net strategic alliance, which aims to guarantee the meetings industry the world’s best service experience in each of the member cities (Cape Town, Copenhagen, Dubai, Edinburgh, Melbourne, San Juan, Singapore, Vancouver).

• To learn more about ECB visit www.conventionedinburgh.com

• Edinburgh Zoo and Highland Wildlife Park are owned by the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS), a registered charity, number SC004064. The Society was established in 1909 and was awarded its Royal status in 1913. Its mission is to inspire and excite our visitors with the wonders of living animals, and so to promote the conservation of threatened species and habitats.

• Edinburgh Zoo welcomes over 630,000 visitors a year, and is one of Scotland’s top paid visitor attractions. www.edinburghzoo.org.uk

 

Photo: Edinburgh