VisitAberdeenshire Update 6 December 2023

What feels like five minutes ago we entered 2023 to the fanfare of influential lifestyle magazines ranking our region as the top travel spot for the year ahead. We now end the year with none other than the Press Association putting Aberdeenshire among its top five destinations for 2024 along with Ireland, Utah, Sri Lanka and Japan.  Without the hard work that goes into creating high quality visitor experiences across the region, such plaudits would not happen. For our part, the VisitAberdeenshire team continues to drive forward key actions from the Destination Strategy to encourage more visitors to stay longer, spend more, explore deeper, and return another day. We enter the new year full of creative ideas to make our promotions fly higher, and for our business support go deeper.


We look forward to working with you in the New Year.


Chris Foy



Tourism Development Programme


The team are busy planning more workshops and webinars for the new year covering topics such as digital marketing, sustainability, inclusive tourism and more. Details of two January sessions are listed below and keep an eye out for further announcements over the coming weeks.


Digital Marketing Masterclass with Stephen Whitelaw


Tuesday 23 January

9:30am – 1pm

Venue to be announced

Click here to register

Save Energy and Grow a Greener Business with Business Energy Scotland

Thursday 25 January

11am – 12pm


Click here to register



Enhance your destination knowledge with our free online training modules


Whether you work in a hotel, restaurant, bar, visitor attraction or transport provider, being able to answer questions and have conversations with guests about what there is to see and do in the area are key to enhancing the customer experience.


VisitAberdeenshire created the ‘Know Your Destination’ online training modules to help increase Tourism and Hospitality workers knowledge of the area and to be able to answer those questions confidently.


Maryn Grieve, Tourism Development Executive, has a background in working on a hotel front desk and talks about how beneficial the free training modules would have been to her in her blog which you can read here.


To find out more about the online training modules, or to sign up, click here.



There is still time to list your Christmas events, deals and offers with VisitAberdeenshire


With locals and visitors looking for inspiration on things to see and do this festive period, make sure your offerings are listed on


What’s on guide


Whether you’re hosting a Christmas market, carol concert, Santa meet-and-greet or other festive fun, listing on our What’s On guide will help you reach wider audiences.


It is free to list and by completing the form below, your event will appear on VisitAberdeenshire’s website, Data Thistle and also VisitScotland’s website.


Click here to find out more.

Deals & Offers


'Tis the season to boost your business and spread holiday cheer! List your exclusive deals and offers on VisitAberdeenshire’s website for both locals and visitors to enjoy.


Now is the ideal time to seize the opportunity and captivate a wider audience through one of our most visited pages.


Click here to find out more.



Join us at our Monday morning briefings


Every Monday at 10am, the VisitAberdeenshire team meet online and we would like to invite you to join us.


This opportunity would allow you to brief the team about your business and get to know more about us.


The meetings take place on Zoom and we invite businesses to speak for around 10-15 minutes (with or without presentation slides) followed by a short Q&A session.


If you would like to join us, please click here to book your session or email for more information.



New advertising opportunities


VisitAberdeenshire is excited to announce new advertising opportunities for your business. With options such as bespoke social media posts and tailored email newsletters, you can put your business in the spotlight and reach our ever-growing consumer audience.

To find out more, view our webpage or contact Gemma today on



Promoting Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire to the North American market


Last week VisitAberdeenshire attended the VisitScotland North American Business Development Mission, held at locations in the City of London. The events included meetings with inbound tour operators from the US and Canadian Market to promote trade-ready experiences across the region.


In a packed schedule, Alanna Fowler, Travel Trade Executive and Millie Clarke, Head of Tourism Development gained valuable insight into customer demand from North America. Exclusive use accommodation, farm-to-fork experiences and meeting local people were among the top requests. 


If you would like to develop a travel trade product or discuss marketing your existing travel trade products contact



Quarterly Business Monitor Results


We recently shared the results from the latest Quarterly Business Monitor, looking at July to September. The key highlights from this were:

  • An increase in international visitors
  • Increase in visitor numbers in general

The barriers were:

  • Short term lets legislation
  • Increasing business costs
  • Staff shortages

If you would like to find out more, you will find the full results here. The next Quarterly Business Survey will be live early January 2024 so please look out for this opening.


News from around the region


Call for Buchan food and drink businesses to promote their produce at the Taste of Buchan 2024


VisitAberdeenshire has been advising S5/6 Travel and Tourism pupils at Peterhead Academy through a DYW Collaborative Partnership. Through this partnership, the pupils are organising a new event to promote  Buchan’s local food and drink businesses to the public.


The ‘Taste of Buchan’ event provides businesses in the food and drink industry the opportunity to exhibit and network with other producers and suppliers as well as consumers.


Click here to find out more about how you can get involved either as a consumer or exhibitor.




Help your customers and team to get home this festive season with Stagecoach Nightbird


Running on Friday and Saturday nights Stagecoach is operating a festive Nightbird service. Operating from Midnight until 4am, the service will run from Aberdeen city centre to Westhill, Stonehaven, Inverurie, Ellon and Banchory until 14 January.


A poster has been created for businesses to download and showcase in their premises, on the social media or to share with their team. You can download your poster here.



Scottish Tourism Alliance and Transatlantic Translations Group offer free webinar

The Scottish Tourism Alliance and Transatlantic Translation Group are offering a free webinar on Thursday 7 December to help tourism and hospitality businesses understand how translation and interpreting can attract international visitors and enhance their experience.


Find out more here.



Low Emission Zone Support Fund for Businesses


Eligible Scottish micro businesses and sole traders can apply for a £2,000 grant when they dispose of a vehicle that is not compliant with the Low Emission Zone (LEZ) standards in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Dundee.


To be eligible, you must be operating a non-compliant vehicle within 20 kilometres of the LEZ and dispose of the vehicle through a SEPA-authorised treatment facility.


Funding is subject to availability on a first come, first served basis until 31 March 2024.


Click here to find out more.