VisitAberdeenshire Update 7 February 2024
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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 email@example.com.
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
Attitudes and behaviours of UK Travellers in 2024, with David Edwards of Scattered Clouds
Monday 19 February
1:30pm - 2:30pm
Storytelling workshop with Complete Works
Tuesday 20 February
10am - 4pm
Ardoe House Hotel
VisitAberdeenshire Presents... Effective Recruitment and Retention
Wednesday 28 February
10am - 10:45am
Digital Marketing Masterclass, with Stephen Whitelaw
Thursday 29 February
9:30am - 1pm
Crowne Plaza Hotel, Aberdeen Airport
Inclusive Tourism: Visual Awareness Workshop
Tuesday 5 March
10am - 2pm
Aberdeen Art Gallery
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.
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
Wednesday 6 March
2pm - 4pm
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.