VisitAberdeenshire Update - 7 September 2023


As I write this, one of the continent’s largest trade events, Offshore Europe is in full flow, supporting hospitality businesses across the city and the Shire. Events provide reasons to be somewhere that can’t be put off by a week or a month and this summer we’ve welcomed the return of those great moments from Portsoy to Stonehaven and from Turiff to Braemar with many more in between, all attracting visitors from near and far. As we look ahead to the return of the Provenance Festival at the end of September, and our own programme of activity, the VA team continues to work away behind the scenes, providing a platform to promote more amazing moments to visitors, and enhancing our efforts to attract more valuable conferences to the region through our reinvigorated convention bureau.


Chris Foy

Tourism Development Programme

In June, we put out a request for feedback on our Tourism Development Programme to help provide insight for this year’s programme.

We were delighted to receive 64 responses to the survey, providing valuable feedback.

We have analysed the results and have been working hard to put together a programme of webinars and workshops based on the needs identified. Topics covered within the programme will include Digital Marketing, Sustainability, Inclusive Tourism and Customer and Market Insights, with individual sessions on topics such as event planning and recruitment. We will also be introducing a series of bitesize monthly webinars, “VisitAberdeenshire presents…”, with each session focusing on a different topic. The first will take place on Wednesday 27 September , looking at VisitAberdeenshire’s marketing activity and how tourism businesses can get involved in campaigns. More details of this session can be found later in the newsletter.

In the next few weeks, we will be ready to share the rest of our plans, with details of the upcoming events available for you to sign up. Our Tourism Development Programme runs from the end of September through to end of March.

Local Area Networking Meetings

You are invited to join us at out next Local Area Networking Meeting. At the meeting, you will hear an update on our activity and how to get the most out of working with VisitAberdeenshire. There will be lots of time to network with fellow tourism and hospitality businesses.


Date: Thursday 12 October

Time: 11am – 1pm, with registration from 10:30am.

Location: Leith Hall, Huntly

Register here

Up next:



Date: Wednesday 1 November

Date: Thursday 16 November

Time: 12pm – 3pm

Time: 4pm – 7pm

Location: TBA

Location: TBA

Register here

Register here


An update from VisitAberdeenshire’s Marketing and Communications team

VisitAberdeenshire’s Marketing and Communications team is responsible for creating engaging and inspiring content to enthuse potential visitors.  From working with travel journalists to expertly curating stand-out consumer marketing campaigns, the team works hard to ensure the region is seen and heard amidst a crowded market.

Laura Delaney, VisitAberdeenshire’s Head of Communications, will present the first in a new series of webinars named ‘VisitAberdeenshire Presents.’ These sessions are part of the trailblazing Tourism Development Programme.

In the webinar, you’ll hear more about the benefits of working with the Marketing and Communications team, some highlights from the past year and the impact of the team’s work in the marketing and PR space.

For more about the Marketing and Communications team’s activity, read Laura’s blog here or attend the ‘VisitAberdeenshire Presents… A Destination Marketing Update’ webinar on Wednesday 27 September at 10am, click here to register.

Sign up to take part in the Provenance Festival 2023

There is still time to sign up to take part in this year’s Provenance Festival.

The 10 day festival celebrates local and sustainable food and drink from across the North-east and offers visitors the opportunity to see behind the scenes, meet the producers and hear stories of provenance. You can see a list of the events already confirmed here.

If you would be interested in taking part, please click here to register. If you would like to find out more, please contact Leah Hodder on

VisitScotland Connect 2024 | 17 & 18 April 2024 @ P&J Live, Aberdeen 

Scotland's largest business-to-business travel trade event will return to Aberdeen on 17 and 18 April 2024. Tourism businesses with travel trade bookable products have the opportunity to connect and engage with international and UK travel trade buyers through a new format workshop-style event.    

Dates: 17 & 18 April 2024 

Location: P&J Live, Aberdeen 

Cost: £1880 + VAT  

Registration link:  

 If you would like to discuss any aspect of our Travel Trade Ready Programme or engaging with travel trade buyers, please contact Tourism Development Executive, Rachel Smith on 

 VisitAberdeenshire Web Listings and What’s On Guide

With visitors and locals using the VisitAberdeenshire website to plan their activity, it is vital that business listings are up to date. We recommend that you review your listing regularly to ensure that your business is being promoted accurately. For more information on how to update your business listing, click here.

Our online What’s On guide advertises all upcoming events in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire. Our partnership with Data Thistle (previously The List), means that by completing one form, the listing will be promoted on VisitAberdeenshire's What’s On pages, Data Thistle and VisitScotland’s online event guides. Find out more here.


Visitor Levy (Scotland) Bill. Consultation closes 15 September.

There is still time to respond to the Scottish Parliament’s Local Government, Housing and Planning Committee’s Call for Views on the Visitor Levy (Scotland) Bill. The legislation and its accompanying documents can be accessed here.
If passed, this Bill gives Scottish local authorities the power to introduce an additional charge on overnight stays in most types of visitor accommodation. Accommodation providers will be responsible for collecting the levy from visitors and paying it to their local authority, with the net proceeds to be used to develop, support, or sustain services and facilities that are substantially for and used by people who visit the area for leisure.
The Scottish Tourism Alliance (STA) has developed a visual Guide here with key considerations.

The Deadline for Short-Term Lets Licence is approaching – 1 October

Anyone operating a short-term let must apply for a licence by 1 October 2023. If you are an existing business, you will not be able to continue operating without a licence after this date. If you are a new business, you will need to have a licence in place before being about to take bookings. For more information and details on how to apply, please visit your local authority website below.

Aberdeen City Council

Aberdeenshire Council

VisitScotland release dates for Digital Marketing webinars

Working with Business Gateway and Google, VisitScotland have released a programme of Digital Marketing webinars specific to tourism businesses. The webinars will take place throughout September and October and will cover topics such as Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), Analytics, Blogging and making the most of your Google Business Profile. To find out more and to register, click here.

 Have your say on the next Local Development Plan for the Cairngorms National Park

The Cairngorms National Park have launched a new website and interactive map to help gather information on the issues affecting the people who live and work in the Cairngorms National Park to inform the next Cairngorms Local Development Plan.

The map will be open for comment until the end of September and can be used to provide your views on the issues being faced. You can view the interactive map here.

Robert Gordon University, Undergraduate Placement Programme

Could your organisation benefit from offering a work placement to a student studying BA(Hons) International Tourism Management?

Third-year students have the opportunity to undertake a paid/full-time placement lasting 6 months (commencing Jan/Feb 2024) or 12 months (from Summer 2024), as part of their studies.

If you would like to find out more about this programme or if is something your team could accommodate, please contact Linda Leslie on

Upcoming webinar: Recruiting brilliant people and keeping them

The Beer and Pub Association and Employers Network for Equality & Inclusion are working in partnership to deliver a series of webinars designed to support hospitality businesses to drive inclusivity within their organisations.

The first webinar in the series, ‘Recruiting brilliant people and keeping them’, is free to attend and is open to anyone involved in recruitment in hospitality. The webinar will take place on 14 September at 2pm. To find out more, click here.

All information is correct at the time of publishing, we recommend that you check opening times and information for individual places before visiting.