Aberdeen Christmas village rated ‘excellent’ by visitors

Aberdeen Christmas Village

THE ABERDEEN Christmas Village was a massive hit with visitors with almost 90% rating the latest festive attraction as excellent or good – and 96% saying they want to see it come back this year.

And 88% of visitors to the Broad Street event said it had a positive impact on their perception of Aberdeen while 76% said it had increased their pride in the city.

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The vote of approval for the event, staged by Aberdeen Inspired, Codona’s and Aberdeen City Council, comes from a survey carried out by the Research Chamber of Aberdeen & Grampian Chamber of Commerce.

The results also showed that 78% of businesses asked agreed the Christmas Village helped boost the city centre, while 56% of them saw the village as fairly or very good for business.

Adrian Watson, chief executive of Aberdeen Inspired, said the findings underlined that the Christmas Village had been a gift to the city centre.

He said: “We are delighted that so many people loved getting into the festive spirit at Aberdeen Christmas Village and the Curated In The Quad festive market. To get such a high approval rating from so many people is fantastic news.

“The fact that 78% of businesses asked thought the Village was a boost for the city centre is just as welcome. It was always the aim to bring more people into the heart of Aberdeen, not just to the glittering attractions on Broad Steet but also to bolster the many other offerings in the city centre.”

Lord Provost Dr David Cameron, who opened the Christmas Village, said: “I’m pleased to know that so many people enjoyed the experience of being in the city centre during the festive period.

“The Union Street Christmas lights, the Castlegate Christmas tree, the Nativity Scene and other events combined to create a special atmosphere in Aberdeen.”

More than 300 visitors were asked for their thoughts on the Christmas Village – and the Curated In The Quad festive market – during the six weeks it was running from November 16 to Hogmanay.

Visitors not only gave a thumbs-up for the village in terms of enjoying the atmosphere and the fun, but also made some suggestions for the future.

These included making the Christmas Village bigger, providing more and larger rides – especially the return of thrill rides – for older kids and adults and even providing bands.

Ian Littlewood, operations director for Codona’s, said: “The general feedback we received on site was fantastic – in particular the additional local food operators were extremely popular – although a major thrill ride was definitely missed.

“We were also very proud of the huge sum raised for Charlie House through this year’s Curated In The Quad. The festive market is a massive amount of work for all parties involved and it’s great to see the benefits not just for the local vendors but also this very worthy local charity.”

Mr Watson said: “Aberdeen Christmas Village is always striving to evolve and improve every year and part of that is listening to what people like and what they want.”

A total of 48 city centre businesses responded to the survey, with more than half (56%) saying it had been good for business and 78% saying it gave the city centre a boost and 80% said they would support the return of the Christmas Village this year.

The survey also showed that the average visitor spend per ‘party group’ going to the Christmas Village was £69 – which includes £25 spent inside the village, £17 on food and drink outside the event, and £17 on other shopping and other goods

Mr Watson said: “Attracting people and encouraging them to support not just the Village but also local businesses is a key element of Aberdeen Christmas Village. Every pound spent is a boost for our city centre.”

Meanwhile, the Curated In The Quad festive market, which raised more than £24,500 for north-east charity Charlie House, was also highly rated by visitors and by vendors alike.

Some 85% of visitors said it was either excellent or good, while 91% of stallholders – mostly local independent producers and creatives – said it was good for their business.

Mr Watson said: “We knew from the amazing amount raised for Charlie House that Curated In The Quad was a success, but to get such wonderful feedback from both visitors and vendors is the icing on the Christmas cake.”

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