VisitAberdeenshire Update 10 January 2024

VisitAberdeenshire Update – 10 January 2024


As we enter 2024, a picture is beginning to emerge of tourism sector performance since the height of the pandemic. Last autumn VisitAberdeenshire adopted an analysis tool to understand the volume and value of tourism in the North-east. The data is now in for 2022 showing a positive uplift across visits and spend compared to 2019. We will expect to see the analysis of 2023 around Easter time.


In 2022 we were tantalisingly close to seeing £1bn of economic impact from tourism activity, so top of our agenda for 2024 is to use our insight and expertise to drive towards that significant milestone. We will continue to inspire more people to visit, stay longer and spend more through compelling destination promotions to visitors, trade buyers and media alike; our convention bureau will bid for and win more valuable conferences for the region, our volunteers will welcome 50% more cruise arrivals than in ‘23, and course our dedicated team continue to support you with our pioneering development programme, and industry networking opportunities.


We look forward to working with you during the year ahead.


Chris Foy



Reminder to please complete our Tourism Quarterly Business Monitor


Please take five minutes to give us your thoughts on the past quarter, October - December, together with a look ahead to the start of 2024 and beyond. The more businesses that take part, the richer and more accurate a picture we will have.


Here is VisitAberdeenshire’s Chief Executive, Chris Foy to tell you more about why it’s important to take part.


Click here to complete the survey


Once you have completed the survey, please remember to share it with your network so they can complete it as well.



Tourism Development Programme


We have an exciting programme of webinars and workshops taking place over the coming weeks and months. Below you will find some of the sessions taking place over January and February, with many more still to be announced.


Digital Marketing Masterclass with Stephen Whitelaw


Date: Tuesday 23 January

Time: 9am - 1pm (followed by 1to1's during the afternoon of 23 January or throughout 24 January)

Location: The Aberdeen Altens Hotel


Click here to register

Save Energy and Grow a Greener Business with Business Energy Scotland

Date: Thursday 25 January


Time: 11am - 12pm


Location: Zoom


Click here to register




VisitAberdeenshire Presents… Making the most of Business Events, with the Aberdeen Convention Bureau


Date: Tuesday 30 January

Time: 2pm - 2:45pm

Location: Zoom

Click here to register

Digital Marketing Webinar: AI for Social Media Content Creation



Date: Tuesday 6 February

Time: 10am - 12pm

Location: Zoom

Click here to register




Local Area Networking Meeting: Inverurie Area



Date: Wednesday 7 February

Time: 10:30am - 1pm

Location: Venue to be announced

Click here to register

North East Adventure Tourism: Unlocking Opportunities - Adventure Tourism and your business


Date: Thursday 15 February

Time: 10am - 1pm

Location: Banchory Lodge

Click here to register




Attitudes and behaviours of UK travellers in 2024, with David Edwards of Scattered Clouds


Date: Monday 19 February

Time: 1:30pm - 2:30pm


Location: Zoom

Click here to register

Storytelling Workshop with Complete Works - How to tell your business's story


Date: Tuesday 20 February

Time: 10am - 4pm (registration from 9:30am)

Location: Ardoe House Hotel

Click here to register


Could you make the news?


As part of our PR efforts, we're on the lookout for news about your business. Perhaps you have a new product in development or have been celebrating a special milestone. Let us know about it!


It's important to keep us updated on new developments within your business that might be an interesting news story to journalists or potential visitors.


Please send any news to Laura Delaney, Head of Communications,



Travel Trade Update


Alanna Fowler is VisitAberdeenshire’s Travel Trade Executive. Alanna works to promote Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire to global travel trade buyers through attending a series of trade shows, one-to-one appointments and hosting familiarisation visits.


Over the coming weeks and months, Alanna will be attending trade shows in London, Newcastle and Stockholm, before VisitScotland Connect which takes place at P&J Live in April.


To find out more about Alanna’s role, check out her latest blog here.



Marketing Campaign Evaluation - Find Your Perfect Escape


Following the summer ‘Find Your Perfect Escape’ marketing campaign, VisitAberdeenshire has produced a factsheet sharing all the key findings from the evaluation.


As with previous campaign evaluation factsheets, you will be taken through campaign recall, how the marketing materials make them think and feel, what they went on to do having seen our marketing and, of course, did they book to come and visit us?


Click here to read more



Reminder to update your January offerings


Are you operating different hours, running any January events or promotions? This is your reminder to ensure that your business listing is up to date and any deals & offers or events are listed on


Business listings


To manage or submit your business listing, please click here.

Event listings


To list your event on our What’s on guide, please click here.

Deals and Offers


To list your deals, promotions and special offers, please click here.


News from other organisations


Coastal communities funding


Aberdeenshire Council have launched a new application round for their Coastal Communities Challenge Fund. Targeting community groups, third sector organisations and small businesses on Aberdeenshire’s coastline, the grant can fund a range of activities with positive economic, social or environmental impacts.


Grants between £10,000 and £50,000 will be available, and applicants must make a minimum 10% match funding contribution to projects.  Small business applicants must contribute 50% match funding.  Projects approved under this application round must be completed by March 2025.


The deadline for submission of applications is noon on Monday 29th January 2024.  A copy of the application form can be found along with the privacy notice and programme guidance at Coastal Communities Challenge Fund - Aberdeenshire Council.


For support with application or any questions, please e-mail



Spectra’s tenth anniversary


Spectra returns to Aberdeen in February for its tenth year. The award winning festival of light, will run from 8 – 11 February and will celebrate the theme of ‘Connections’.


Festival favourites Heinrich & Palmer will return to the city with a spectacular new artwork charting the maritime story of Aberdeen, from tall ships to oil rigs, and a transition towards a renewable future. The large-scale 3D projection will take over the Sculpture Court at Aberdeen Art Gallery. Following the conclusion of the festival the piece will also become a part of the Gallery’s permanent collection. To find out more about this year’s programme, click here.



Scottish Tourism Month – The Signature Conference, Aberdeen


March is dedicated to Scottish Tourism Month and is an opportunity to amplify the voice of the tourism and hospitality industry.


The flagship event of Scottish Tourism Month, The Signature Conference, will take place at P&J Live, Aberdeen on Tuesday 12 – Wednesday 13 March 2024.


Delivered as a collaboration between leading industry trade bodies, The Scottish Tourism Alliance (STA), the Association of Scotland’s Self-Caterers (ASSC) and the Associations of Scottish Visitor Attractions (ASVA), the event is designed to connect, engage and empower organisations in and related to the sector.


To find out more, click here.



Scotland’s Agritourism sector enjoys boost


Agritourism has become a growing trend with visitors seeking authentic rural experiences such as farm stays, farm tours, field to fork experiences and feeding Highland Cows. Findings from the Scottish Agritourism tracker suggest that the combined value or agritourism and farm retail in 2030 would be around a quarter of a billion pounds and support almost 10,000 full time jobs.


With more than half of visitors booking a trip through an intermediary, engaging with the travel trade can help businesses attract more visitors and reach new audiences. Read more here.


If you would be interested in finding out more about how you can work with the travel trade, contact Rachel Smith on