Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire tourism programme encourages businesses to up their game

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Following a successful pilot programme earlier this year, tourism businesses in North East Scotland once again have the opportunity to sign up for the Game Changer Programme to support business growth and bring wider benefits for visitors to the area. The application deadline has been extended until Thursday 29 August on the training and development programme developed by Scottish Enterprise in partnership with Opportunity North East (ONE).

P&J Live, the £333million new events venue in Aberdeen is expected to contribute an additional 4.5million visitors and £113million visitor spend alone to the region. 

Alongside cultural venues such as the Music Hall and Art Gallery as well as improvements to the airport and the new harbour there are increased opportunities to realise the potential of Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire as leisure destinations.  

The Game Changer Programme for Tourism Businesses consists of a series of workshops as well as one to one sessions starting in September until December with attendees investing a few days each month in return for new techniques to transform their business.

The workshops aim to support businesses to identify their target markets; define consumer demands; create an enhanced business plan; learn new skills as well providing a complete grounding in business management.

The pilot programme received excellent feedback and many attendees valued the experience of networking with peers alongside the learning opportunities.

Marketing and PR coordinator at Portsoy Community Enterprises Vivien Rae said: “This has been an invaluable insight into reviewing the strategy and future of our organisation and also in creating a network of peers throughout Aberdeenshire for potential future collaboration. If you get the chance to take part, do it!”

ONE Chief Executive Jennifer Craw said: “ONE and Scottish Enterprise have developed this unique programme in partnership and by working closely with VisitAberdeenshire, the content has been designed to give participants an in-depth understanding of how to grow their business and attract and retain new visitors. The successful development of the North East of Scotland’s tourism sector is essential to achieving our shared ambition of growing visitor spend in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire to £1billion per year by 2023.”

Scottish Enterprise tourism sector project manager Elaine Booth added: “North East Scotland is a popular destination for visitors and it is important we support the tourism industry to realise its full potential.

“P&J Live, the Music Hall and Aberdeen International Airport has had huge investment, the Aberdeen Art Gallery will reopen following a £30million redevelopment and the new £350million Aberdeen South Harbour will be ready to welcome large cruise ships from May next year. 

“It is important we work with tourism businesses to maximise opportunities presented by all the recent infrastructure investments within the region and the workshops will help to provide the right tools for future growth which will deliver economic benefits for the area.”

To apply for a place on The Game Changer Programme for Tourism Businesses visit: http://bit.ly/upyourgametourism by 29 August. The cost is £500 per business (max two attendees from each organisation.) Ideally participants should attend at least 5 of the 7 workshops and additional support will be offered to those who miss key sessions. For more information contact Elaine Booth at Scottish Enterprise directly at elaine.booth@scotent.co.uk


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