Oct 062017
 

With thanks to Yvette Rayner, PR Account Manager, Frasermedia Ltd.

An Aberdeen sports facility is the first in Scotland to achieve the highest possible standard in the leading UK sports and leisure quality scheme.

Aberdeen Sports Village, which is based on the city’s Linksfield Road, is the first facility in Scotland to have passed the toughest assessment offered by Sport Scotland’s leading national quality scheme, Quest.

Quest is the best-known improvement programme within the leisure industry and its rigorous assessments challenge all leading leisure centres in the UK.

ASV has achieved Quest Stretch, which is only available to high performing centres, and is the highest possible achievement.

In order to qualify for a Quest Stretch assessment, centres must have been rated ‘Excellent’ in their previous Quest assessment. To achieve the top award, ASV went through a two-day assessment plus a mystery visit. To make the process even tougher, managers were not informed when the assessor or mystery visitor would be arriving.

ASV was particularly commended by Quest on its programme for older people, Evergreens, which helps participants remain active for longer, as well as its opportunities for children and disabled people.

Duncan Sinclair, CEO for ASV, said:

“Everyone at ASV is dedicated to providing the best service and facilities for all of our customers. We are delighted to achieve this award, as it is a testament of the high standards we strive to provide.

“Quest is an ongoing programme, which looks not just at our customer service but also the important work we do developing sporting opportunities in the community. Congratulations to all staff and volunteers at ASV, this award is very well deserved.”

Quest’s operations director, Caroline Constantine, said:

“Quest Stretch is the highest accreditation that can be achieved and as such it is an extremely demanding process. By meeting Quest Stretch’s very high standards, ASV has shown its commitment to providing quality facilities and service to its customers. In these tough economic times it is more important than ever that local leisure facilities can demonstrate their value, and Quest Stretch accreditation helps them do just that.”

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Sep 152017
 

With thanks to Eoin Smith, Senior Account Executive, Tricker PR

Two leading lights of the north-east tourism industry have been shortlisted for an award recognising those who dedicate their time and energy to giving visitors exceptional experiences. Peter Walker, general manager of luxury venue Meldrum House Country Hotel, and restaurateur and chef Craig Wilson from Eat on the Green are finalists in the ambassador of the year category of the Aberdeen City and Shire Tourism Awards (ACSTA).

Peter has overseen the multi million pound redevelopment of Meldrum House, growing it into one of the region’s most popular hotels, while also supporting initiatives to train young entrants into the hospitality sector.

Craig – better known as The Kilted Chef – has put the region on the radar of foodies nationwide. He is passionate about using local produce, and is a tireless supporter of charities.

Craig is also nominated for the hospitality hero award, while Meldrum House is a contender for most hospitable hotel – an accolade which it has won on three occasions in the past.

The pair are among 46 finalists announced today (September 15, 2017) in the ACSTA 2017 shortlist. Peterhead Prison Museum has scored three nominations in the best visitor attraction, innovation in tourism and working together in tourism categories, while No 10 Bar & Restaurant is up for two awards. The Aberdeen venue will be hoping to retain the best informal eating experience title that it won last year, and add to it with the best restaurant award.

Alison Christie, chairman of ACSTA, says the shortlist reflects the wide and varied nature of the tourism sector in the city and shire, and the hard work that takes place across the region to ensure that both leisure and business tourists enjoy the best possible experiences.

“Once again this year the judging panel has been very impressed by the many examples of excellent customer service and commitment to ensuring guests are very well looked after when they visit,” she adds.

“It has been particularly heartening to see entries from so many operators and individuals who have not entered before, along with those who have been shortlisted in previous years of ACSTA and are continuing to enter because of the added value the awards bring to their business.

“It does sound like a cliché, but the judging panels do have a very difficult task in whittling down the entries into category shortlists. Every year we see evidence of standards further improving and even more satisfied customers leaving with very happy memories, and it is extremely difficult to narrow it down when the industry is performing so well across the board.”

The winners will be announced at an awards ceremony and gala dinner at Ardoe House Hotel in Aberdeen on November 24.

The winners of ACSTA 2017 will then go on to represent the region in the national tourism Oscars, the Scottish Thistle Awards, which take place in the spring. Further information is available at www.acsta.co.uk

The full shortlist is:

Most Hospitable Hotel – Meldrum House Country Hotel & Golf Course; The Aberdeen Altens Hotel; Tor-Na-Coille Hotel.
Most Hospitable B&B/Guest House – Callater Lodge; The Mill of Dess Lodge; Lys-Na-Greyne.
Best Accommodation Provider – Ballater Hostel; Buttermere Cottage; Down on the Farm
Best Bar/Pub – Revolution Bar Aberdeen; The Grill; McGinty’s Meal An’ Ale
Best Outdoor/Adventure Experience – Lochter Activity Centre; Stonehaven Open Air Swimming Pool; Deeside Activity Park
Best Visitor Attraction – Peterhead Prison Museum; Transition Extreme Sports Ltd; DogWalk Brewery Tour
Working Together for Tourism – Aberdeen Festivals / Skene House Apartment Hotels; Discover Fraserburgh Tourism Group; Peterhead Prison Museum
Innovation in Tourism Award – Peterhead Prison Museum; Aberdeen International Airport; Grampian Transport Museum
Tourism and Hospitality Hero – Craig Wilson – Eat on the Green; Colin Gunn – Holiday Inn Aberdeen West; Elma McMenemy – Elma McMenemy Tourism Marketing + PR
Regional Rising Star (Age -30) – Rebecca Forno – Holiday Inn Westhill; Hannah Beedie – Castle Fraser, Garden & Estate; Julia Hays – VisitAberdeenshire
Regional Ambassador (age 31+) – Peter Walker – Meldrum House Country Hotel; Craig Wilson – Eat on the Green
Best Cultural Event or Festival – The Scottish Traditional Boat Festival; SPECTRA, Aberdeen’s Festival of Light; True North – Aberdeen’s Festival of Music and Song
Best Sporting Event – Baker Hughes 10k Running Festival; Scottish National Age Group Swimming Championships
Best Informal Eating Experience – The Cape Horn Bar; No.10 Bar & Restaurant; The Cock and Bull
Best Restaurant Experience – No.10 Bar & Restaurant; India on the Green; The Davron Hotel
Best Heritage Tourism Experience – Braemar Castle; Glen Garioch Distillery; Maggie’s Hoosie

Jul 212017
 

By Duncan Harley

The British Heart Foundation Scotland will be a major beneficiary from funds raised at ‘Blast from the Past’ – a Classic Car Show featuring rare and unique vehicles from across the North-east – on Saturday 22 July 2017.

“We are delighted that Margaret and Ian McWilliam along with their daughters Jade and Iona have accepted our invitation to join us at the event” says co-organiser Alan Leonard.

“The McWilliams, a local family from Kintore, give up a lot of their time in support of the BHF as their lives have been directly impacted by the effects of heart disease.”

Co-organiser Alan Leonard and main sponsor Alan Wallace of Aberdeen’s AW Autotech chose the Inverurie venue for this inaugural event due to the suitability of the site.

“The area we are using is all in tarmac” says Alan “and we also have the exclusive use of the entire in-door shopping mall and display area.”

“More importantly” he says “From our first contact with Thainstone management they have offered us all of the professional support we could possibly wish for in order to ensure that the event will be a success.”

Alongside the classic cars, the day features family fun complete with kids rides, bouncy castles, music and competitions.

For the young and not so young the show features live action including an Auto-Test competition, parade laps of exhibitors cars and a giant Scalextric Track guaranteed to take the breath away from both adults and kids.

Alongside the more than 200 Classic Car display entries, the show will feature motor-cycles, commercial vehicles plus many rare and unique vehicles. Stars of the show include a 1936 Auburn ‘Boattail’ Speedster and a rare 1961 Daimler Dart.

‘A Blast from the Past’ runs from 10am – 4pm this coming Saturday.
Admission £5 – children under 12 free.
Free parking on site.
More information at http://www.nes-blastfromthepast.co.uk/car-show/

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Jul 032017
 

With thanks to Ian McLaren, PR account manager, Innes Associates.

(L to R) Sarah Harker and Moira Gash of DeeTour and VisitScotland regional director Jo Robinson.

A pair of Aberdeenshire entrepreneurs have launched a new tourist guidebook aimed at attracting more visitors to Royal Deeside.
Moira Gash and Sarah Harker, who run tour and activities business DeeTour alongside their own separate businesses, have created the Royal Deeside PassporTour, a pocketsize guide showcasing things to see and do in the Aberdeenshire valley.

The pair previously worked for tourism body Visit Royal Deeside.

Aimed at national and international visitors and locals alike, the 128-page book highlights the diversity of the area’s tourism offering. The guide was created after local tourism businesses called for this type of publication.

With stunning scenery, a wealth of locally produced food and drink, and an array of tourist attractions, golf courses and outdoor activities to enjoy, Royal Deeside has something for visitors of all ages. The book is designed to provide a comprehensive insight for those planning a trip to the area, while also acting as a guide and money saving tool as they explore the region.

Along with highlighting key tourist attractions and profiling the amenities and activities on offer in each of the main towns, the guide features interviews with local artists, tour guides, musicians, sportspeople and tourism professionals, helping to bring the region to life. A golf trail and a tea and cake trail each present further incentives to explore Royal Deeside, with participating businesses offering discounts to customers.

The history, heritage and culture of Royal Deeside and Scotland is also outlined, and a handy summary of Doric words will help visitors to grasp some of the basics of the distinctive north-east dialect.

Priced at £9.95, the Royal Deeside PassporTour provides purchasers with over £200 worth of savings through the 23 vouchers and two trails that it features.

The guidebook is also suitable for local families looking for inspiration for things to do during the summer holidays. Vouchers include 15% off at Go Ape at Crathes Castle, 50% off at Battlegrounds Paintball, two for one entry to Braemar Castle and 20% off day rover tickets at the Deeside Railway.

Co-director of DeeTour, Moira Gash, said:

“The Royal Deeside PassporTour aims to allow travellers to make informed choices as they plan their trip to Aberdeenshire and also act as a reference tool while they are visiting. Thanks to its royal connection, Deeside draws visitors from around the world and we’ve had interest in the guide from far and wide.

“Not only is it suitable for those visiting the area for the first time, but the huge savings offered by the featured businesses makes it a fantastic tool for locals. For families planning day trips during the summer holidays, the savings on offer at Go Ape at Crathes Castle and Battlegrounds’ paintballing, near Banchory, more than cover the cost of the book.”

The initiative has received the backing of VisitScotland, and was showcased at this year’s Royal Highland Show as part of the Aberdeenshire Village display, where it was given an enthusiastic reception from show visitors.

Jo Robinson, VisitScotland regional director, said:

“I think the Royal Deeside PassporTour is a great idea to inform visitors coming to beautiful Royal Deeside of the vast array of attractions, entertainment, locations and handy hints and tips, as well as locals looking for ideas for the summer holidays.

“Partnership and collaboration is at the heart of Scottish tourism and VisitScotland works with local industry to develop and deliver innovative initiatives that grow the regional visitor economy. We need to think big about Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire as a tourism destination to ensure we fulfil our potential – every visitor must get a quality experience, every single time.

“The Royal Deeside PassporTour reveals some of Aberdeenshire’s best-loved places as well as its hidden gems, and is a fantastic celebration of everything that this charming corner of the world has to offer visitors.”

Copies of the Royal Deeside PassporTour can be purchased from a number of businesses in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire or online at www.deetour.co.uk.

DeeTour is an Aberdeenshire-based tour and activities business that was established by business partners Moira Gash and Sarah Harker. The business provides bespoke tour and activity packages to help visitors explore Aberdeenshire. In 2017, DeeTour launched the Royal Deeside PassporTour, a new guidebook highlighting the wealth of things to see, do and sample in the region. The pocketsize book, which costs £9.95, includes over 20 vouchers that provide more than £200 of discounts at local business. 

Further information about DeeTour and the Royal Deeside PassporTour can be found at www.deetour.co.uk.

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Apr 012017
 

With thanks to Julia Heys, Marketing Executive, VisitAberdeenshire.

Scottish Traditional Boat Festival at Portsoy 2010 © Kathy Mansfield

Aberdeen Festivals has announced the addition of the Scottish Traditional Boat Festival in Portsoy to further strengthen its portfolio of local member festivals.

Aberdeen Festivals, set up in 2014 to collectively promote festivals, develop audiences and strengthen the cultural sector, has welcomed the Scottish Traditional Boat Festival to its ranks.

The renowned festival, which takes place from 24-25 June 2017, will join 10 existing and diverse festivals including; SPECTRA, Aberdeen Jazz Festival, Look Again, May Festival, Aberdeen International Youth Festival, TechFest, True North, North East Open Studios, DanceLive and sound.

Roger Goodyear, co-chairman of Scottish Traditional Boat Festival commented:

“Joining Aberdeen Festivals has been on the festival’s horizons since the collective was formed in early 2014. We have since watched the success of Aberdeen Festivals through its facilitation of collective marketing and collaborative efforts to profile the cultural offering of Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire.”

In its 24 year history, the Scottish Traditional Boat Festival has become well known locally and internationally as it uniquely showcases the local marine and cultural heritage of North-east Scotland. The annual festival reports on average 16,000 visitors each year with a high proportion of international attendees.

Roger continued:

“We already have a well-established audience and brand but, of course, there is always room for growth and we are looking forward to the various cross-collaborations with other festivals as well as taking part in the extensive and successful Aberdeen Festivals marketing campaign.”

Festivals in the Aberdeen Festivals group have consistently reported significant increases in audiences and ticket sales. In February this year, SPECTRA welcomed 63,000 visits, up by 28,000 on 2016 whilst Aberdeen Jazz Festival, which took place earlier this month, has already reported a 100% increase in ticket sales.

Steve Harris, chair of Aberdeen Festivals commented:

“Aberdeen Festivals has made substantial strides in its three years of existence. This has been recognised with continued local and private funding, audience and sales increases for each festival and numerous prestigious award shortlisting’s. The addition of the Scottish Traditional Boat Festival to the collective, with its well-connected, high profile festival and large international audience, will bolster this success of Aberdeen Festivals further in profiling the North-east as a top cultural tourism destination.”

Aberdeen Festivals has to date secured private sponsorship from energy company, Nexen, major funding from VisitScotland’s Growth Fund along with ongoing support from VisitAberdeenshire, Aberdeen City Council and Aberdeenshire Council. The group recently secured an E Award, organised by EventIt, for its excellence in digital marketing.

For more information about Aberdeen Festivals, please visit www.aberdeenfestivals.com.

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Feb 072017
 

With thanks to Eoin Smith, Senior Account Executive, Tricker PR.

VisitAberdeenshire is looking to capitalise on £175 million of German tourism spend in Scotland by attracting new visitors to the north east of Scotland.

The tourism organisation will attend VisitScotland’s Frankfurt Workshop – an exhibition and Burns Supper – on 7 February. VisitAberdeenshire business development director Jenni Fraser will meet key business tourism trade decision makers to promote Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire to the German travel market.

While at the exclusive German event, Jenni (pictured) will promote Lufthansa’s direct air links between Frankfurt and Aberdeen International Airport, as well as the wealth of conference and event venues throughout the region.

The trip to attract business travel from Germany – Scotland’s second largest international inbound travel market – follows hot on the heels to a VisitAberdeenshire leisure travel trade mission to the Stavanger Travel Day in Norway last week.

Jenni says,

“The future of business tourism in the north east of Scotland is looking bright, with several important developments set to revitalise the region’s offering to conference, events and incentive organisers.

“The city’s infrastructure is currently undergoing a massive overhaul, including the £20 million expansion of Aberdeen International Airport which will greatly improve services available to international travellers. As well as encouraging new direct flights, these improvements will also enhance the experience of those travelling on existing routes including from Frankfurt.

“Ground has also been broken on the £333 million redevelopment of Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre (AECC) which will transform the north east’s conference and meetings offering, for both large and small scale events. As well as relocating nearer to the airport – making it more convenient to business travellers – the new AECC will also boast increased exhibition and meeting space.

“Similarly, Aberdeen Art Gallery and the Music Hall are also undergoing major refurbishments – worth a total of £37 million. These will not only increase leisure facilities in the city centre, but also offers unique spaces for drinks receptions and gala dinners.

“Aside from major developments, Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire boast some incredible independent venues that are perfect for smaller meetings and incentive provision. From exclusive use of a historic castle or a privately-chartered steam train; conferences at a unique seafront venue or golfing at one of over 50 world-renowned golf courses; Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire have so much to offer.

“We look forward to meeting with key German business tourism buyers to encourage them to visit Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire.”

For more information about conferences and events in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire – or about the region in general – visit www.visitabdn.com

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Jan 272017
 

With thanks to Eoin Smith, Senior Account Executive, Tricker PR.

A high-profile treasure hunt expected to attract over 3,000 visitors is to be held in Aberdeenshire in 2019. Thanks to support from VisitAberdeenshire, the UK Mega geocaching event will welcome participants – known as cachers – from across the UK, Europe, USA and Canada.

The week-long geocaching event will take place from 5-11 August 2019, with camping and entertainment at Deeside Activity Park as well as organised activities including Munro climbing and watersports.

This allows visitors the chance to explore Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire’s stunning landscape by searching for caches – hidden containers which house secret messages, log books and sometimes prizes – before the main event on Saturday 10 August at Kincardine Castle.

Cachers use GPS and other navigation tools to aid them in their quest: a modern-day treasure hunt that has captured the imagination of thousands of outdoor enthusiasts across the globe.

Aberdeenshire won the bid to hold the 2019 UK Mega event, beating strong competition from Sussex. UK Mega has been running high-profile geocaching events since 2008, changing location each year to allow enthusiasts the opportunity to travel the country. This year’s event will be held in Devon, while the 10th anniversary event will take place in Yorkshire in 2018.

Julie Buckingham, chair of Aberdeenshire Mega 2019, says,

“We are delighted to have been successful in bidding for the Geocaching UK Mega to come to Aberdeenshire in 2019. Cachers travel from all over the world to take part in the UK Mega, so this is a fantastic opportunity to showcase the incredible scenery and attractions in the north east. VisitAberdeenshire has supported us through the process, and we look forward to continuing to work with them in the run-up to the event.”

UK Mega has been brought to the north east with the help of tourism body VisitAberdeenshire. Business development manager Jenni Fraser (pictured) says,

“Geocaching has become incredibly popular in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire, and there are dozens of caches across the region – both in the countryside and in the city centre.

“Royal Deeside is a real focal point for the region’s geocaching community and is home to Scotland’s only GeoTour – which takes in 20 locations – so it is an ideal choice to host the UK’s highest-profile geocaching event. We are delighted that UK Mega has chosen Aberdeenshire to host its 2019 event, and we look forward to welcoming the global geocaching community to the region.”

For more information about the Aberdeenshire Mega 2019, visit www.mega2019.org.uk

For more information about geocaching in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire, visit www.visitabdn.com/what-to-do/royal-deeside/geotours

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Jan 132017
 

With thanks to Eoin Smith, Senior Account Executive, Tricker PR.

Tourism body VisitAberdeenshire will journey to Scandinavia this week on a mission to capitalise on the booming number of Norwegians going on overseas holidays.

The organisation will exhibit at the Oslo Tourism Fair from 13-15 January, where they will have the chance to speak directly with holidaymakers about the world-class facilities on offer in the north east of Scotland.

Between 2003 and 2015, Norwegian holiday expenditure rose across the globe by an incredible 158% – from £4.7 billion to £12.2 billion.

VisitAberdeenshire’s Jenni Fraser (pictured) and Raeanne Farquhar will attend the exhibition to encourage more travel to Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire to benefit from this rise in spending. They will be joined by partners Aberdeen Festivals and bmi regional – which operates direct flights between Oslo and Aberdeen.

Business development manager Jenni says,

“Norway has traditionally been a key market for both leisure and business visitors to Aberdeen, and the city continues to be one of the top three Scottish destinations for Norwegian travellers.

“Increasingly Norwegians choose to holiday abroad rather than at home, and in 2015 spent 307,000 nights in Scotland – spending £36 million. Aberdeen is well connected to Norway with flights operating from Oslo, Stavanger and Bergen, and so offers an attractive weekend break destination for those looking to get away from it all.”

Norwegian travellers are often attracted to the UK where, thanks to a favourable exchange rate, shopping and dining are far more affordable. While at the Oslo Travel Fair, VisitAberdeenshire will showcase the north east’s top restaurants, bars and shops, while highlighting the attractions, entertainment and hotel offers available in the city and surrounding area.

Jenni continues,

“Norwegian visitors are often drawn to the region by our stunning castles and historic whisky distilleries – and for good reason. The imposing ruin of Dunnottar Castle, perched perilously atop a rocky cliff face, and the fairytale-esque Fyvie Castle are amongst some of the area’s top attractions, while distilleries like Glen Garioch and Royal Lochnagar offer tours to allow visitors the chance to see how single malt is made.

“And while they may come for the castles and whisky, visitors will have the opportunity to discover all that the area has to offer – from world-famous golf courses, including Royal Aberdeen and Cruden Bay, to outdoor adventure activities.

“We will also unveil the 2017 Aberdeen Festivals programme to a Norwegian audience. Events like the sound festival have already built strong connections with the Norwegian and wider Scandinavian cultural community, and we look forward to sharing what’s ahead with those in Oslo.”

For more information about Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire, and the region’s leisure tourism facilities, please visit www.visitabdn.com

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Dec 062016
 

With thanks to Eoin Smith, Senior Account Executive, Tricker PR.

nikki-morris-laingAn initiative designed to help tourism businesses across the area attract more visitors has been launched by tourism body VisitAberdeenshire.

The ‘A Shared Story for Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire’ toolkit is supplied to businesses free of charge so that they can deliver consistent marketing messages to potential visitors in order to inspire them to come to the region.

The toolkit offers suggestions and tips on how businesses can use common themes, words and phrases, imagery and tone in their marketing materials.

It was developed following in-depth research and a series of industry discussions and workshops carried out by independent consultants, Blue Sail.

It is described as a ‘recipe book’ where businesses can follow the recipe word for word or can adapt the recipes to suit the ingredients they have. The toolkit, which contains some example imagery from the local area, will be further augmented by access to a photographic and video library. This will again be supplied free to businesses when it becomes available.

Blue Sail identifies the key features which are unique and special to the area as:

  • It is ‘true’ – a place which is authentic and real
  • Doric culture – everyday language and music in particular
  • The scale of the place – its landscapes and seascapes
  • Location and latitude – big skies, clarity and changing light
  • Long history – characterised by multitude of castles and royal associations as well as golf and whisky distilleries
  • A proud international city – unique architecture, with global connections
  • Importance of the natural world – the elements, wildlife and plant life

“The most successful tourism destinations have a simple story to tell,” says Nikki Morris-Laing (pictured), marketing director of VisitAberdeenshire.

“The ‘Shared Story’ toolkit gives a way of describing the area with a few simple themes and messages.

“It also uses third party endorsements of the area such as National Geographic describing The Cairngorms as ‘one of the last great places on earth’ and The Scotsman newspaper describing the city of Aberdeen as ‘one of the most architecturally distinctive in Europe’.

“It’s important that we identify and all work towards marking out our unique and special qualities to attract an increasing proportion of Scotland’s visitors to our region. We need to reposition our area in the minds of the travelling public so that they see beyond the ‘oil and gas capital of Europe’ nametag; our area is definitely worth visiting for its own sake and we all need to confidently portray this to potential visitors.”

The toolkit gives one over-arching story for the region and also shared stories for Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire and the Banffshire coast, Royal Deeside, castles, whisky, golf, festivals and events, food and drink, and outdoor activities.

Carol Benzie of Aberdeen International Airport says,

“The toolkit is an excellent resource for tourism businesses in the area. It gives everyone a clear direction for how we can all support the key messages being promoted by VisitAberdeenshire by focusing on what is unique and special. We will definitely be using the toolkit to help shape our marketing efforts in the future.”

Giving guidance on tone of voice, the toolkit recommends a conversational tone which is clear and direct; welcoming and approachable; and positive and confident. Businesses are encouraged to use the stories to inspire content in their marketing campaigns including in their websites, across social media platforms, leaflets and brochures and press releases.

Key focuses from the individual shared stories are:

  • Aberdeen – proximity to the sea, a special light, the city’s two old ‘towns’, off the tourist map
  • Aberdeenshire and Banffshire coast – a strong community feel, theme of people and place
  • Royal Deeside – feeling encircled and embraced, majestic scale and natural beauty, royal associations
  • Castles – range of types/settings, famous and inspirational, strong royal connections
  • Whisky – sense of place, bringing natural elements to life, off the tourist track
  • Golf – sense of drama and importance of links and parkland courses, space and light
  • Festivals and Events  – how names of festivals evoke wider themes of latitude, light, royal, coast, nature, culture and belonging
  • Food and Drink – big brand names, top quality, traditional to contemporary, alchemy of resourceful people and bountiful place
  • Outdoor activities – abundance of outdoor pursuits, quality of light and air, roam free in all seasons

VisitAberdeenshire, which was created from the merger of three previous destination management/marketing organisations VisitAberdeen, Banffshire Coast Tourism Partnership and Visit Royal Deeside, as well as the Aberdeen City & Shire Tourism Partnership, in April this year prioritised key segments of visitors. These segments, based on VisitScotland research, include natural advocates, engaged sightseers, curious travellers and business extenders.

Focus will be on those visitors who have direct access, including access by flight routes, from the UK, Norway, Germany and The Netherlands. 

VisitAberdeenshire is funded by Aberdeen City Council, Aberdeenshire Council, and Opportunity North East, with additional support from Scottish Enterprise. For further information or a copy of the toolkit, contact VisitAberdeenshire on 01224 900490, email info@visitabdn.com or visit www.visitabdn.com.

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Dec 062016
 

With thanks to Julia Heys, Marketing Executive, VisitAberdeenshire.

In light of its continued collaborative work, a group of 10 major North-east festivals has again announced its shortlisting for a national art award.

Aberdeen Festivals, a group formed to bolster the festival product on offer in the region, has been shortlisted for an award at the upcoming Arts & Business Awards 2017.

The shortlist recognises the group’s collective work with local destination management organisation (DMO), VisitAberdeenshire, in positioning the region as an exciting, culturally diverse, place to visit.

The valuable relationship is in the shortlist to win the ‘Placemaking Award’.

Angela Michael, Festivals & Culture Director at VisitAberdeenshire commented;

“We are delighted to have our hard work recognised on such a high-profile scale. The shortlisting reinforces the work this group has undertaken to promote Aberdeen as a culturally distinctive place.”

She continued;

“The successes of this campaign have shown through each of our festivals significantly increased profile and many have reported considerable audience growth. Aberdeen Jazz Festival saw an audience increase of 40% whilst 35,000 people attended Spectra in 2016, compared to the 10,000 that visited in 2015. VisitAberdeenshire’s support, expertise as well as market entry has been pivotal to this.”

The partnership between Aberdeen Festivals and VisitAberdeenshire saw, for the first time, Aberdeen being promoted as a cultural destination. The group, with the DMO’s support, collectively undertook substantial marketing campaigns locally, nationally – across Scotland, as well as London and Newcastle, and internationally – predominantly in Norway.

Steve Harris (pictured), CEO of VisitAberdeenshire and Chair of Aberdeen Festivals added;

“Our collaborative work with Aberdeen Festivals is going a long way towards profiling this region for something other than industry. One of our core goals is to reposition Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire in the minds of our audiences as a creative place, whilst marketing it as a region of cultural prominence. We have already seen great success in profiling the region as a cultural destination and we look forward to continuing this wonderful partnership over the coming years.”

The Arts & Business Scotland award ceremony, which celebrate the most creative and innovative partnerships, will take place on Thursday 23 March 2017, in Glasgow.

Aberdeen Festivals is a cultural initiative representing 10 member festivals and is sponsored by Statoil, and supported by VisitAberdeenshire and Aberdeen City Council. For more information visit www.aberdeenfestivals.com. VisitAberdeenshire is the destination marketing organisation for the region of Aberdeen & Aberdeenshire, further information can be found at www.visitabdn.com.

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