VisitAberdeenshire update - 14 August 2023

The arrival of a purple carpet over Aberdeenshire’s heathlands, coupled with the obligatory back-to-school shop window displays are a hint that late-summer and autumn are now on the horizon. Recognising that this is a great time of year to be in the north- east - especially for visitors who can travel outside of school holidays – the VisitAberdeenshire team have a number of initiatives planned to maximise the potential of an extended season. Our late-summer campaign is already underway and today we launch the 2023 Provenance Festival, a celebration of local food and drink with local suppliers already curating unique visitor experiences for early October. Read on to see how you can get involved.


Chris Foy

Provenance Festival returns this Autumn 2023

The Provenance Festival is the flagship event celebrating sustainable food & drink at source across the North-east. Returning for the third year running, the festival will take place from 29 September to 8 October 2023, offering world class visitor experiences at locations across Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire.

The 10-day festival offers an opportunity for visitors to see behind the scenes, meet passionate producers and hear the stories of sustainability and provenance behind their food and drink.

The Provenance Festival is now open for submissions to take part in 2023. Please get in touch with Leah Hodder, Provenance Festival Project Manager, at to register your interest.

The Provenance Festival is delivered by VisitAberdeenshire and Opportunity North East, supporting food and drink, tourism and economic development across the North-east.


Find Your Perfect Escape

We launched our latest campaign on 18 July, promoting Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire as perfect late-summer escape to target audiences in North and South-east England as well as the rest of Scotland. Throughout July and August, travel-inspired native articles will appear in the Manchester Evening News, the Newcastle Chronicle and the Yorkshire Post. The first online article appeared in the Daily Record online.

Using inspiring imagery to drive awareness and site lands, paid social adverts are also being used to promote the campaign and create leads which will allow us to remarket to our campaign audiences.

As always, the campaign includes a competition which will also be promoted through digital adverts, site skins and a new format for us, ‘newsjacking’. This campaign will merge into an autumn-break message as the weeks’ progress.

Click here to view the campaign landing page.


Adventure tourism campaign hits new heights 

Full evaluation of our spring Adventure tourism campaign with Active Traveller magazine has now taken place with the publication describing the campaign as their ‘third most successful of all time’. The campaign provided VisitAberdeenshire with a further 13,000 newsletter sign ups, increasing the engaged pool to remarket to by more than 12%, and delivering £11 of visitor spend for every £1 spent on the campaign. This outcome is yet another strong indicator that the region has a strong and attractive outdoor offering.


Read the key findings from our latest Quarterly Business Monitor

Our latest Quarterly Business Monitor survey asked businesses to look back at trading over the April - June period. Key highlights from the results of the last quarter included strong demand, many seeing the return of international visitors and the weather. Barriers reported were along the continued themes of costs and recruitment. It Is also positive to see a significant increase in businesses stating they are feeling optimistic about the short-term, as well as the medium- to longer-term.

You can read the full set of findings in our slide deck, together with an easily accessible Factsheet on our website. Read more


Get Cruise Ready with VisitAberdeenshire’s new toolkit

With larger capacity ships calling at South Harbour, as well as smaller ships continuing to call at North Harbour, we have created a toolkit to help local businesses make the most of this opportunity.

The guide is designed to help businesses understand the scope of the cruise market, the opportunities available, how to promote to this market, and the importance of providing the best experience once cruise passengers are ashore.

View the Cruise Ready Toolkit here.


Update from the Tourism Development team

Our Tourism Development Manager, Christina Wright, will shortly be moving onto a new adventure, and if you have any queries or need support, our Tourism Development team will be delighted to help. The team includes Millie Clarke, Head of Tourism Development, Kayleigh McLeish and Rachel Smith, Tourism Development Executives and Alana Fowler has joined the team this week as Travel Trade Executive. We will look forward to introducing you to a new member of the team soon and you can find contact details on our Meet the Team page, or email and your enquiry will be directed to the relevant team member.


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.



Short-term lets – VisitScotland’s updated FAQs

The deadline for applying to your local authority for a Short-term lets licence approaching on 1 October 2023.  VisitScotland has updated its Frequently Asked Questions relating to the legislation to make it easier for anyone operating a short-term let. Read more.

Businesses in Aberdeenshire can find out more and apply here

Business in Aberdeen can find out more and apply here


Aberdeenshire Rural Communities Challenge Fund 2023-24

The Aberdeenshire Local Action Group’s Rural Communities Challenge Fund 2023-24 is now open. Applications are invited from community groups, charities, public sector organisations and cooperatives throughout Aberdeenshire to support capital expenditure which can be delivered before 28 February 2024 and supports the priority areas of low carbon community buildings and/or active and connected communities. The application deadline is Monday 4 September 2023. Read more


Destination Development and Leadership course – applications open

Applications for Edinburgh Napier University’s ‘Destination Development and Leadership’ course are now open.  This 3-day course is designed to help develop skills, knowledge and insights to enhance individual, business and destination leadership and development. Read more.


University of Aberdeen fully funded online courses

A number of fully funded places are available on a range of online short courses starting in September 2023, including the ‘Museums and Sustainable Futures’ short course. Read more


Foraging Fortnight – 2nd – 17th September 2023

SAC Consulting has collaborated with NatureScot to create two free online events for businesses as part of Foraging Fortnight 2023. The first event ‘Working with Nature’ looks at the tourism related opportunities available and building a sustainable business around nature. The second event ‘Wild Food Themes’ explores key food trends as well as the innovation and opportunities around using wild or foraged ingredients. Find out more here.


Royal Bank Regenerate Fund

Charities or community groups looking to undertake a sustainability project may be eligible for funding thanks to the Royal Bank Regenerate Fund. The Fund has been launched to support sustainability projects across Scotland, in partnership with Neighbourly, by providing up to 50 £3,000 grants. Applications close on 11 August 2023. Read more.


VisitBritain Market Update Webinars

Aimed at businesses who target international visitors and travel trade, VisitBritain is offering free webinars to provide up-to-date inbound market research, data, trends and insights. The upcoming sessions will look at Japan and South Korea, Nordics, Germany, Spain, Brazil and South America, France and Italy. Read more.


Scottish Water – Sustainable Tourism

Scottish Water has created a number of assets that businesses can use in their communications to support sustainable tourism. Resources include the Top-Up Tap map which can be used to signpost visitors to their nearest top up tap, to help reduce single-use plastic waste. A toolkit has also been created to support accommodation and hospitality businesses in encouraging people to save water. Read more.


VisitScotland: Responsible Visitor Industry Guide

VisitScotland has updated its Responsible Visitor Industry Guide to help you encourage visitors to plan and enjoy a responsible trip to Scotland. The guide includes images, video and content that you can share directly with visitors to help them make more responsible and sustainable choices. View the guide