VisitAberdeenshire update 13 April 2023

Once again, it is time to celebrate success with the Aberdeen City and Shire Thistle Awards for 2023 now open for entries. In 2022, three of our regional winners went on to win national acclaim and we look forward to similar accolades in 2023.  Celebration was also the theme for our Aberdeen Ambassador Network in March as we reflected on successful bids for conferences in the city and shire throughout 2022 at an evening reception at Aberdeen Music Hall.


Success comes in all shapes and sizes. Annual independent evaluation of VisitAberdeenshire’s e-newsletter, website and social media activity indicates that this generated approx. £3.5 million worth of visitor spend in 2022, proving the value of well targeted, and well curated communications that can be delivered at low cost. If you want to know more about analysing customer data, read on for information about free, tailored one-to-one advice on offer.


Chris Foy


Submit your entry to the 2023 Aberdeen City and Shire Thistle Awards

The 2023 Aberdeen City and Shire Thistle Awards is now open for entries. Enter or nominate a business for one of 12 categories, including new categories Celebrating Thriving Communities, Inclusive Tourism, Climate Action and Tourism and Hospitality Employer of the Year. Click here to read more about this year’s awards.


There are also three national categories – Best Business Event, Best Luxury Experience & Outstanding Sporting Event. More details about these categories and how to enter are available on the Scottish Thistle Awards website.


Entries for both the regional and national categories are open until Friday 12 May, with the regional awards ceremony taking place at The Chester Hotel on Friday 22 September. Local winners will then go forward to represent the North-east at the national Scottish Thistle Awards in November.


Opportunity for tailored 1 to 1 advice on gathering and analysing customer data

We are working with insights experts 56 Degree Insight, the experts behind the Scottish Tourism Index, to offer tourism and hospitality businesses the opportunity to take part in tailored one-to-one advice sessions designed to provide you with a manageable action plan to gather and analyse customer data and market insights, helping you stay competitive, meet customer demands and drive sustainable growth.


Spaces are limited and offered on a first come, first served basis. If you are interested in taking up this opportunity, please contact Rachel Smith by emailing


Click here to find out more about this opportunity to develop a bespoke insights action plan for your business.


Share your Coronation events with us

We’d love to know if you are planning any events for the Coronation of His Majesty the King and Her Majesty the Queen Consort. Click below to find out how to list your events on the What’s On page of our website and how to get in touch to tell us about your plans.


Read more


Is your VisitAberdeenshire listing up to date?

With many of you reopening this month or changing opening hours for the 2023 season, we encourage you to check your listing on our website to ensure it is up to date. Click below to find out how to update your listing to show your latest information and opening times for 2023.


Update your listing


Join us at our upcoming local networking meeting on 3 May at Castleton Farm

Our next local networking meeting, aimed at businesses in the Mearns, Stonehaven and surrounding areas, will take place on the evening of Wednesday 3 May at Castleton Farm.


The meeting is an opportunity for you to hear an update from VisitAberdeenshire about our activity and plans for the year ahead. You will also hear highlights from our marketing and PR activity over the past year, as well as how to get the most out of working with VisitAberdeenshire. We would also like to use the meeting to hear your views on tourism in the North-east.


Date: Wednesday 3 May 2023

Time: Registration 5.30pm, with a light supper and an opportunity to network. Meeting 6.30pm – 8pm

Location: Castleton Farm, Fordoun, Laurencekirk, AB30 1JX


Click here to register for the local networking meeting


Refresh your knowledge with our ‘Know Your Destination’ online training modules

Last year we developed a suite of five online training modules designed to help frontline tourism and hospitality staff enhance their knowledge of the destination and all it has to offer. The modules are free to use and can be completed at the learner’s own pace, with each learner receiving a certification for each module on completion.


Read more about the training modules and how to register yourself and any staff as learners


Aberdeen Convention Bureau highlights work of the Aberdeen Ambassador Network

We brought more than 50 academics and specialists together at an event at the Music Hall on Tuesday 28 March to celebrate the success of the Aberdeen Ambassador Network, a group of experts that have supported conference bids in the last year. The Aberdeen Convention Bureau co-ordinates the Aberdeen Ambassador Network to influence decision makers and positively promote the region as a destination for conference events. The event featured updates from ambassadors Professor Sarah Pedersen and Dr Amudha Poobalan, who have secured conferences for Aberdeen in their chosen fields. Read more about the Aberdeen Ambassador Network


We’re recruiting for a Head of Convention Bureau to join our team

Following an organisation restructure, VisitAberdeenshire is recruiting for a new and exciting role as Head of Convention Bureau. For more information on this unique role leading our Convention Bureau team, visit our Vacancies page.


Opportunity to present to the VisitAberdeenshire team about your business

We would like to invite you to join us virtually one Monday morning to meet with the VisitAberdeenshire team and present to us about your business, what you do and anything exciting you’ve got in the pipeline. The meeting is fairly informal and it’s a great opportunity for us to get closer to you and your business. The meetings take place every Monday morning at 10am and we invite businesses to speak for around 10-15 minutes (with or without presentation slides) followed by the opportunity for a short Q&A session.


If you would be interested in presenting to our team on a coming Monday morning, click here to book your preferred time slot


News from partner organisations

Event Scotland strategy consultation workshops

A public consultation has been launched to gather views which will shape Scotland’s future national events strategy through to 2035. The consultation, which is open until 30 June, is open to responses from anyone connected with events both within Scotland and beyond. Take part in the online consultation


In addition, a workshop for Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire will be held on Friday 21 April, 10.30am – 3.30pm at the Maritime Museum, Aberdeen. Click here to read more and register


Reserve your place at upcoming Aberdeen neurodiversity in the workplace conference

Neurodiversity in the Workplace: Unlocking Potential and Driving Innovation, a one-day conference taking place on Tuesday 30 May, is an opportunity for professionals from across the public and private sectors to come together to explore and share best practice and maximise the opportunities created by ‘thinking differently’ about neurodiversity. The conference, which is being organised by Aberdeen Inspired, will take place at the Aberdeen Douglas Hotel on Tuesday 30 May, 8.30am – 2.30pm. Read more


Read the results from the 2022 Euan’s Guide Access Survey

In the latest Access Survey from Euan's Guide it was found that 72% of disabled people have found accessibility information on a venue's website to be misleading, confusing or inaccurate and 74% have experienced a disappointing trip or have had to change plans due to poor accessibility. Click here to read the full survey results


Is your organisation attracting older customers?

Age Scotland is offering free virtual workshops for people in the tourism sector who would like to develop their services for older people. The session includes the opportunity to reflect on your current offerings and share ideas with likeminded businesses.  Read more and register