Visitor survey reveals top reasons for visiting Aberdeen & Shire

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Visiting friends or family is one of the main reasons people enjoy holidaying in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire, according to VisitScotland’s biggest ever Visitor Survey.

Carried out in the summers of 2015 and 2016, the national tourism organisation’s poll saw 887 visitors to Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire interviewed, with 193 of these answering specific questions about their visit to the area in a follow-up survey online.

While half of the respondents cited scenery and landscape as the main draw to the region, this was followed closely by visiting friends and family (45 per cent) and history and culture (36 per cent).

In Scotland’s Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology, visitors to the area were also more likely to mention genealogy as an activity (5 per cent), than other areas of Scotland

Visitors to Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire gave positive ratings of their holiday experience, with 93 per cent giving scores of 7-10 on the satisfaction scale, and more than half (53 per cent) gave the highest ratings of nine or ten out of ten.

Holidaymakers also expressed a high likelihood to recommend the region to friends or family, with 91 per cent scoring it between 7-10 and 59 per cent selecting nine or ten out of ten.

Sightseeing by car, coach or on foot was the most popular activity. With 78 per cent of respondents citing this as a reason to visit the region, sightseeing in Aberdeenshire is above the national average of 74 per cent. In second spot is visiting a historic house, stately home or castle (66 per cent – 6 per cent above the national average), while enjoying a short walk or stroll is enjoyed by 55 per cent (1 per cent above the national average).

Jo Robinson, Regional Director at VisitScotland, said: “With nearly 12,000 visitors all over the country interviewed, this is the biggest Scotland Visitor Survey we have ever produced. I am delighted, but not surprised, to see that so many people rate their trips to Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire so highly. Finding out what drives people to enjoy a holiday in the region provides the tourism industry with valuable insight into the makeup of our visitors and helps them to ensure we continue to provide the best customer experience.”

According to the GB Tourism Survey and International Passenger Survey, Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire welcomed 1.3 million overnight visitors in 2015, with 22 per cent of these from overseas. The top overseas markets were Germany, the USA, France and Italy while, overall, visitors spent £421 million while on holiday in the region.

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