EDINBURGH has attracted a sought-after conference of tourism leaders to Scotland, with the city’s marketing body describing the win as a sign of the capital’s status as a world-class destination.

The European Cities Marketing (ECM) Spring Meeting is to be held in Scotland in February 2019, with around 175 senior members of the tourism industry taking part.

Marketing Edinburgh, which promotes the city across the world, said it is celebrating the landmark announcement. It said it will liaise with the ECM team to deliver the event and “develop a compelling and thought-provoking programme under the over-arching theme of ‘Eventful Cities’, which will explore the relationship between city development and events”.

ECM, an association for tourism organisations, aims to improve the competitiveness and performance of leading European cities.

Its spring 2019 event will see industry leaders from across the continent gather to foster critical thinking and debate on topical tourism issues relevant to Edinburgh, such as destination management and future travel trends.

Marketing Edinburgh said the conference win is an opportunity to showcase the city – billed as the top meeting destination in the UK outside London - to an array of influential decision makers.

It added that the city is constantly improving its offering, with developments across the city including the complete renovation of the St James Quarter and a new £200 million development near Haymarket.

The ECM event has already received backing from local partners, including The Sheraton Grand Hotel & Spa Edinburgh, National Museum of Scotland and Assembly Rooms.

John Donnelly, CEO of Marketing Edinburgh, said: “The annual European Cities Marketing Spring Meeting is a huge opportunity for host destinations to showcase their city to key industry players so we’re thrilled to be welcoming the meeting to Edinburgh for 2019.”