25 of the UK’s top inbound tourism agencies visited the North-east this week (7 to 9 October), in a trip facilitated by VisitAberdeenshire which connected local businesses with key travel trade buyers.
The event, which made its first visit to Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire, was facilitated at Mercure Ardoe House Hotel & Spa in partnership with UKInbound, the official trade association that represents the interest of the UK’s £24 billion inbound tourism sector. The travel trade, made up of intermediaries such as tour operators, wholesalers, travel agents and online travel agents, play a significant role in attracting visitors to Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire.
Chris Foy, chief executive of VisitAberdeenshire said, “The global travel trade recognises that the growing demand to travel to Scotland can be matched by the supply of high-quality experiences here in the North-east. There are encouraging signs that significant new business is already emerging from over 350 individual meetings held throughout the 48 hours that the buyers were in our region”
As part of the visit the group experienced many of the authentic Scottish experiences which rank highly on a visitor’s wish-list including, a whisky experience at Glen Garioch and Meldrum House Hotel, a regimental dinner at the Gordon Highlanders’ Museum, Crathes Castle, an Old Aberdeen Walkabout, the Peterhead Prison Museum experience featuring former warden Jackie Stewart, Brewdog, Fyvie Castle, meeting highland coos at Aberdeenshire Highland Cattle, Dunnottar Castle and hotel site visits. The group also sampled other quality local food and drink produce.
Jo Robinson, regional director of Visit Scotland said, “We are delighted to support the UKinbound event in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire this week, showcasing to tour operators the outstanding holiday experiences on offer in this region. The familiarisation trips allowed delegates to sample our perfect mix of history, culture and scenery as well as an abundance of high-quality food and drink, and I’m sure this will result in increased bookings for tourism businesses in the region.”
Earlier this month VisitAberdeenshire launched a travel trade business opportunity guide which provides a straightforward introduction to how to adapt business models to reach new markets through the travel trade. This is supported by a series of seminars and one-to-one business advice supported by Scottish Enterprise. The guide is available to download from visitabdn.com/industry.
VisitAberdeenshire is the lead tourism agency for Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire. It promotes fantastic visitor experiences in North-east Scotland to targeted audiences in the UK and overseas. VisitAberdeenshire also works to develop the visitor economy through initiatives that help tourism businesses to understand and meet demand from an ever-changing market to strengthen the region’s position as a world-class tourism destination. It supports bids for major business events and works with partners across the region to deliver a great delegate welcome. VisitAberdeenshire is funded by Aberdeen City Council, Aberdeenshire Council, Opportunity North East and Scottish Enterprise.