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Visit Scotland | Alba
Article published 24/07/2023

Introduction from David Jackson, Regional Director

Welcome to the April to June 2023 quarterly edition of our regional industry update for Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire.

This overview shows of some of the ways we’ve been promoting and supporting tourism in the area over the last few months.

With the season almost in full swing, we are hearing encouraging signs from tourism and events businesses about the season ahead.

We know that challenges certainly remain for you all, however as the schools break up for the summer holidays, the appetite for holidaying in Scotland is strong, from both the domestic and international markets.

The recent sunny, warm weather is an added bonus!

The region is already buzzing with events, including the recent European Pipe Band Championships held in Duthie Park, Aberdeen Highland Games at Hazlehead, the Nuart festival around the city and the Scottish Traditional Boat Festival in Portsoy.

One of the big tickets for this summer is the UCI Cycling World Championships which are just around the corner.

The eyes of the world will be on Scotland as it hosts the event, so businesses should get ready to capitalise on the potential new visitors this will bring.

The recent opening of the new Tarland Trails mountain bike centre, is a great example of how our region is already seizing this cycling tourism opportunity.

Read on for more information on our activity to support tourism and events in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire, and promote the fantastic things to see, do and enjoy across the region.

Scotland and UK Press activity

Our corporate PR team work closely with Scottish and UK media to raise awareness of our work to promote Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire to visitors and how we offer support for the industry.

Some of the most recent highlights include: 

Read all our press releases on our media toolkit

Key statistics on social media

2.8 million

reached through Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire content across all channels


reached by our top peforming post for the region


reactions, likes and comments on across all channels

An update from our iCentres

Aberdeen iCentre

The team in Aberdeen iCentre are enjoying a very busy summer season. With cruise ships consistently arriving into both the North and South Harbour, the iCentre is the first stop for many cruise visitors.

At a recent Union Street BID meeting, local businesses all agreed that the footfall ratio for those disembarking at Aberdeen has exceeded expectations and the footfall figures and retail spend within the iCentre attest that.

Many passengers have returned to the iCentre to thank us for our suggestions and advice.

With many passengers from France and Germany desperate to try some of the best malts in the world when in the area, the iCentre is hosting representatives from the Aberdeen Whisky Shop on the 24 July to offer the chance to engage with locals and visitors. This will undoubtedly be a fun event!

Nuart has been a great success in the city this year. With most of the Rewilding murals being propped up within walking distance of the city centre, the iCentre had to approach Nuart for a replenishment of mural maps. Customers, particularly locals, jumped on the chance to take a walking trail around the city’s new artwork in the scorching June sun.

Another success has been the Big Hop Trail organised by Clan Cancer Support. In line with the clan’s 40th anniversary, 40 hare sculptures have been placed around Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire, Moray, Orkney & Shetland. The hares have been designed by some of the country’s most talented artists and the Big Hop Trail maps stocked in the iCentre have been a massive hit, especially as the schools start their holidays.

The iCentre was approached by Nuart with a request to make a bagpipe themed window display.

This request was sent to all applicable shops in Union Street to optimise promotion for the Championships and the Aberdeen team gladly obliged.

It has been a booming summer for both the city and the iCentre. Long may it continue!

Ballater iCentre

Ballater iCentre is cruising into the busy season ahead with ease due to the arrival of the cruise ship coaches, many of whom are stopping in Ballater as part of two onshore tours to:

  • Balmoral Castle
  • Royal Lochnagar Distillery and Ballater

When Duthie park hosted the European Pipe Band Championships, the iCentre was very active in its promotion and we found the free shuttle service from Union Terrace Gardens to Duthie park was a great encouragement for people to attend.

Along with effective promotion of the area by Cairngorm National Park Authority (CNPA) as an key up-and-coming destination for cycling and mountain biking in advance of the World Cycling Championships, our footfall is steadily increasing.

Pop in and say hello!

Our team of welcoming and knowledgable staff are always on hand to help you, and your visitors. Pop in and say hello to our iCentre teams – they'd all love to hear from you.

Regional Marketing

Building on the success of our previous campaigns, we're working with ScotRail and the Beano gang, to showcase adventures in Scotland during the summer holidays through ScotRail's "Kids for a Quid".

Activity, including paid social, went live on Facebook and Instagram at the end of June 2023.

Working with Reach, content includes print and online articles across many of the nation's well known media brands such as The Daily Record, The Scottish Daily Express, Aberdeen Live, Glasgow Live and Edinburgh Live.

For paid social, we used imagery at Aberdeen Beach and Stonehaven to drive focus on nostalgic family days out at the seaside.

View the campaign landing page on

Beano characters at Stonehaven Harbour for Scotrail campaignBeano character, Gnasher, at Stonehaven Harbour for Scotrail campaign

We've been working in partnership with national organisations to promote Scotland to domestic and international audiences.

Two new campaigns this quarter include:

  • London and Partners

    Through the VisitBritain Gateway Innovation Fund, we worked with London & Partners on a unique campaign in the US from March to May 2023.

    This campaign was also in partnership with Expedia and the Caledonian Sleeper and promoted dual visits to London and Scotland under the messaging of "two iconic destinations, one unforgettable trip."

    Focus in Scotland included Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire with support from VisitAberdeenshire. The results for this campaign are expected to be published in September 2023.

  • Expedia

    We worked with Expedia on content marketing Scotland to two key audiences, the UK and the United States (US).

    Expedia US (Oct – April)

    Scotland content included in Expedia's US activity,. This content included "Scotland Is Calling" messaging and featured on Expedia's conversion page to drive industry bookings.

    Take a look at the landing page

    This activity achieved 19.7 million impressions.

    Content hooks included:

    • luxury
    • ancestry
    • cities
    • unique experiences
    • roadtrips, and more


    Expedia UK (Sep – Jan & March-April)

    Scotland content was included in Expedia UK activity, featuring on city focused conversion page to drive industry bookings.

    Browse the Scotland content on

    This activity achieved 13.4 million impressions online, and over 2.7 million impressions on social media. For every $1 spent on ads, the activity saw a customer spend of $115.

What's on

The following is an overview of some of the new and updated content on which is featuring Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire:

Find more inspiration on

Aberdeen Beach South Breakwater Lighthouse

Global PR for Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire

Scotland's Year of Stories evaluation

The results from the latest Themed Year, Scotland’s Year of Stories 2022, have now been published. Our new report highlights the significant benefits it brought to Scotland and its communities.

Over 1.4 million people attended a total of 201 funded events which were designed to share and celebrate Scotland’s stories.

Find out more about the full impact of Scotland's Year of Stories 2022 with key insights, learnings and results.

Read the full evaluation

Future Themed Year

We asked for your help to scope out options for a future Themed Year. Our Themed Years celebrate the very best of Scotland and its people.

The survey is currently closed.

More details to follow.

Related links