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Visit Scotland | Alba
Article published 31/10/2022

Introduction from David Jackson

It's been fantastic to see the return of domestic and international visitors to our region over the summer months. So too, many of our incredible events and festivals which have been back on strength in recent weeks. The Tour of Britain and Braemar Gathering were particular personal highlights, whilst it was great to see record attendances at the recent True North Festival and headline shows at P&J Live.

As we approach the autumn and winter season, we will continue to work with partners in our tourism and events industry on promoting activity that extends the season and ensures Scotland - and Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire - remain front of mind for potential visitors.

We’re prioritising activities that will stimulate demand and new bookings for the industry to support its long-term recovery, with more details in the update below. 

We know that many businesses are facing difficult decisions and are having to consider how they adapt their operations to manage the cost challenges. We would encourage you to visit our industry website for all the latest industry advice, support and guidance and we will bring you news on industry events taking place in the region. 

We also want to take the opportunity to celebrate our tourism and events industry who have worked tirelessly in the past two years. The return of the Aberdeen City & Shire Tourism Awards in November offers us the chance to do this and I would like to wish all those shortlisted the very best of luck.


Hear from Aberdeen iCentre

In this edition of the industry update, we hear from our Assistant iCentre Manager in Aberdeen iCentre, Ryan Craig.

"Despite the colder weather creeping in, the Aberdeen iCentre team continue their retail hot streak! New suppliers are regularly being added to the iCentre shelves with many already having great success – KimberleyArt, Maccessori and new additions from Sawley Fine Arts have been flying off the shelves! Whether it’s groups of visitors touring Aberdeen and Deeside or locals getting ahead of the game for Christmas ideas, the Aberdeen team continue to impress with their retail enthusiasm."

"An arrival of street art tours from Walking Tours in Scotland and the reintroduction of Rabbies tours has reignited ticket sales within the iCentre and has given us an understanding of what the popular trends are within the city and Aberdeenshire."

"The iCentre has also been heavily involved in networking with high street businesses, local schools, and the University of Aberdeen. Local businesses are coming together within the Union Street Business Improvement District group to discuss the long-term effects of office staff continuing to work from home and how this reverberates on the prosperity of the high street. I have been attending these meetings to build connections with shops on the high street and to represent VisitScotland. The iCentre team have had some great fun over the past few weeks presenting VisitScotland’s values to tourism students in a local high school as well as attending freshers’ events at the University of Aberdeen to welcome international students and promote the iCentre’s world-class advice and services." 

"Be sure to pop in to the iCentre on your next visit to Aberdeen!"

Regional Marketing

  • Scotland is Calling Phase 4

    We recently launched a £270,000 UK marketing campaign to mark the next phase of Scotland is Calling, which has been promoted on Instagram, TikTok, Pinterest and Teads (a global media platform). Dunnottar Castle in Stonehaven was promoted within the Hero film focused on History. This campaign also included a partnership with Expedia to promote Aberdeen, which features on the Scotland is Calling landing page.  Activity takes place from 2 September 2022 to January 2023.

    For the US, we’ll have two phases of activity. Phase one will have a dedicated content led “spotlight page” focusing on driving inspiration of Scotland.

    In phase two, we’ll have a bookable landing page, which will be more focused on converting travel for 2023.

    Activity takes place from 15 October – 30 November 2022 (phase one) and 1 February – 31 March 2023 (phase two).

    The campaigns have our branded banner adverts that will direct users to a landing page with inspirational Scotland content, to encourage bookings.

  • Scotland Is Calling Research

    As part of the Scotland Is Calling campaign, we commissioned research into the role of nostalgia for those holidaying in Scotland - to see how they feel when exploring the sights and making memories in each of Scotland's diverse regions.

    Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire polled highest when asked which destination held a special memory or strong emotional connection for them. 

    The research also revealed that a quarter of the visitors responded highlighting how the Scottish people play an integral part in what makes their Scottish holiday experiences more enjoyable.

    Take a look at the full research. 

  • Aberdeen - a cultural destination

    We worked with Aberdeen Archives, Museums & Galleries on an £83,000 campaign to position Aberdeen as a cultural destination. This included promotion of city-centre cultural attractions, including Aberdeen Art Gallery and The Galloway Hoard exhibition, Provot Skene's House and the Maritime Museum. This content was promoted across a mix of channels, including Teads, Pinterest, Stylist Magazine and BBC History Extra. 

    This activity ran during July and September and included a partnership with Stylist Magazine, and creative assets also promoted through Stylist Magazine's channels and through Pinterest. The content for this campaign included an online quiz through Stylist Magazine's website, "Where should your next cultural excursion be?" This leads visitors through a series of questions to determine the best places for them to explore in Aberdeen - based on their personality.

  • Great Days Out

    We've launched a new campaign encouraging people across Scotland to experience a Great Day Out across the country this autumn and winter.

    The campaign has been launched in partnership with Historic Environment Scotland (HES), the Association of Scottish Visitor Attractions (ASVA) and ScotRail to promote discounted tickets to around more than 50 participating properties.

    We’re inviting visitor attractions and outdoor operators from across Scotland to provide an offer and get involved in this new campaign. There's a number of Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire businesses signed up, but there's still time to get involved.

    To find out more, we've pulled together a handy guide demonstrating how easy it is to be part of this promotion.  This includes guidance on the "offer", how to implement this and top tips to help promote this campaign and encourage visitors to your business. articles

Take a look at the content on which is brand new, or has been recently updated, featuring Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire:



Corporate Press Update

It's been a busy quarter for our corporate press team covering Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire. Some of the highlights include: 

Illustrating the valuable knowledge and insights of our staff from iCentres in the region with press releases about a Jacobite re-enactment event at Ballater iCentre and a Year of Stories 2022 press release about local myths, legends and tales, focusing on Aberdeen iCentre. This featured in The Scotsman and Grampian Online. 

We introduced David Jackson, the new Regional Director for Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire and Moray Speyside, when he presented a five-Star Quality Assurance (QA) Award to Still Spirit in Ellon. Find out more about this award on Our release also featured locally in the Press and Journal. 

David also attended a media photocall in Aberdeen for the Tour of Britain’s Grand Depart, which passed through the region on 4 September, and the launch of the Getabout Aberdeen Cycling Festival. This featured on Aberdeen Business News.

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