VisitAberdeenshire Update 7 February 2024

This time of the year is peak season for a lot of VisitAberdeenshire’s work as we maintain momentum in the promotion of our destination, and our work with local businesses to develop our tourism offer. While the outcome of this activity cannot overcome all of the barriers highlighted in our quarterly business monitor, such as costs of trading, and the winter weather, it certainly supports the key growth drivers in the destination strategy to increase market awareness and to develop products that meet market demand.


We maintain momentum into March when the centrepiece of Scottish Tourism Month - the Signature Conference - comes to Aberdeen. This is a great opportunity for the North-east tourism community to hear from thought leaders and to meet fellow tourism professionals from across Scotland.





Promoting our region to trade buyers


Last month saw a flurry of highly focussed trade sales activity as VisitAberdeenshire attended Showcase Britain 2024 and Britian & Ireland Marketplace in London, as well as the Coach Tourism Association Convention in Newcastle.  These events were a platform for VA’s Travel Trade Executive, Alanna Fowler to meet over 50 influential buyers all over the globe including North America, Germany, Asia and the UK and to gain valuable insight into what their customers are looking for. Among the most in-demand requests were for group accommodation, local restaurant options, farm to fork experiences and products that helped their customers enjoy nature.

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



Quarterly Business Monitor January 2024 – Key findings


Thank you to all of you who took the time to share your views in our survey last month.  


Traditionally October to December can be a quieter quarter for some sectors of the industry. Whilst highlights were given, no strong themes emerged. In contrast clear barriers came through, centering around the weather, reduced footfall (as a result of the weather) and increasing business costs. 


You will find the full set of findings in our slide deck, together with a summary Factsheet by clicking here. We use the survey results when speaking with our stakeholders and to inform our own business decisions within the organisation. 


We appreciate so many businesses sharing their experiences and views with us. Please take ten minutes to complete the Monitor each quarter. Do share it widely too, we know receiving it from peers means people are more likely to complete a survey of this nature.  


To discuss the Monitor or any insights related enquiries, contact Deirdre O’Donnell at



The Scottish tourism industry is converging on Aberdeen, 12 & 13 March, supported by VisitAberdeenshire.


Don’t miss a rare, local opportunity to hear from thought leaders and to meet fellow tourism professionals from across Scotland, right here in Aberdeen. March is Scottish Tourism Month and the 2024 flagship event, The Signature Conference, will take place at P&J Live on Tuesday 12 and Wednesday 13 March.


During the two-day conference, delivered by Scottish Tourism Alliance, the Association of Scotland's Self-Caterers and the Association of Scottish Visitor Attractions, delegates will hear from influential voices from the industry and beyond, including experts in travel and tourism insights, global tourism marketeers, award winning visitor attractions and accommodation as well as leading food and drink ambassadors. You can view the full programme here. VisitAberdeenshire will lead a session on the value of partnerships in regional tourism.


Early bird tickets for both members (of STA, ASSC or ASVA) and non-members are available and more information can be found here. There is also the opportunity to exhibit during the event, details of which are available here.



Tourism Development Programme


The second half of our Tourism Development Programme is now well underway. We have lots of webinars and workshops planned over the coming weeks and months, covering topics such as Digital Marketing, Customer and Market Insights, Storytelling, Recruitment and Retention and much more. You will find some listed below with more dates and details available on our industry website.


North East Adventure Tourism: Unlocking Opportunities *limited availability remaining*


Thursday 15 February

10am – 1pm

Banchory Lodge Hotel

Click here to register

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


Monday 19 February

1:30pm - 2:30pm


Click here to register

Storytelling workshop with Complete Works

*Fully booked*


Tuesday 20 February

10am - 4pm

Ardoe House Hotel


VisitAberdeenshire Presents... Effective Recruitment and Retention


Wednesday 28 February

10am - 10:45am


Click here to register

Digital Marketing Masterclass, with Stephen Whitelaw


Thursday 29 February

9:30am - 1pm

Crowne Plaza Hotel, Aberdeen Airport

Click here to register

Inclusive Tourism: Visual Awareness Workshop


 Tuesday 5 March

10am - 2pm

Aberdeen Art Gallery

Click here to register



Applications are open for free one-to-one sustainability advice


Would you like to take your business to the next level by achieving your sustainability goals?


Whether you are working to reduce energy use and cut costs, appeal to the sustainable traveller or move towards a net zero economy, there are practical steps that you can take to help you along the way.


We’re pleased to offer you the opportunity for tailored one-to-one advice sessions, free of charge, on sustainability topics specific to your business. The sessions are designed to provide you with positive actions and recommendations to support you on your sustainability journey. 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.



Reminder to update your February offering


Are you operating different hours, running any Valentines 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


Port of Aberdeen Cruise information sessions & cruise calls


With 50 cruise calls confirmed in 2024, so far, Cruise Aberdeenshire (comprising of Port of Aberdeen, VisitAberdeenshire, Aberdeen City Council, Aberdeen Inspired, Aberdeenshire Council and VisitScotland) are gearing up to welcome up to 34,000 visitors this year. With the welcomed news of this increasing to up to 100 cruise calls by 2027, local businesses and visitor attractions are being invited to attend an information session to find out more about the 2024 cruise calls and plans to support activity around the port and wider destination.


The sessions are taking place at South Harbour across the two dates, though the option to join virtually is available. To register for the information sessions, please see details below.


Wednesday 21 February

2pm – 4pm

Click here to register

Wednesday 6 March

2pm - 4pm

Click here to register



Employer support webinars


Skills Development Scotland are offering a new series of free webinars for employers covering a variety of different topics around skills and workforce planning.

With live webinars taking place throughout February and March as well as on-demand recording, you can find out more here.



Public engagement regarding Peterhead Cultural Project


In early 2023, Aberdeenshire Council announced its successful bid for the UK Government’s Levelling Up funds for development of cultural and heritage opportunities in Peterhead and Macduff.  


The Peterhead project will see the relocation of the library, the development of a new café and restaurant, and the creation of a purpose-built new museum with the ability to showcase significant touring exhibitions. The project will introduce new public greenspace in the town centre, and re-establish the Arbuthnot House walled garden. There will be spaces to hire for functions and events, and the new building will make the most of views across Peterhead and its harbours. The existing museum and library building will be refurbished for a new cultural use.


Aberdeenshire Council are encouraging the public to engage with the plans and provide feedback and ideas. The survey is live until end of February. To find out more about the projects plans and provide feedback, click here.