Enterprise and Tourism Secretary Fergus Ewing told the
Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee
major conferences would be coming to Scotland with an estimated value of more than £36m.
Mr Ewing was giving evidence on the Winning Years Strategy, which aims to provide an opportunity for tourism businesses to maximise their promotional activity by focusing in on major events happening over the next few years, on 12 September 2012.
The minister said: " I can announce to you today that thanks to the efforts of Visit Scotland and all of the other colleagues, at an expenditure of £321,750 from this fund we will bring to this country conferences which are estimated to bring a value of £36,392,000 a return on public investment of 56 to1".
He said this was "success by any marking".
Mr Ewing went on to say Air Passenger Duty (APD) would cost Scottish airports £77m, according to an estimate by York Aviation.
APD was a barrier to growth in tourism as was the "antiquated system of visas" required in the UK, according to the minister.
Green MSP Patrick Harvie said any additional aviation demand would lead to higher emissions on the Scottish Emissions Inventory and asked the minister whether the government had even begun to calculate effect of these emissions.
Mr Ewing did not accept Mr Harvie's premise saying an increase in direct air links to Scotland would end the need for a flight to London then another flight to Scotland and added he was disinclined to do complex statistical analysis on APD.