Jenni Fraser, Business Development Director of VisitAberdeenshire

Aberdeenshire tourism heading to VisitScotland Expo 2017

The Gordon Highlanders Museum, Glen Garioch Distillery and Eat Drink Aberdeen are among 15 of the region’s top tourism businesses heading to Scotland’s biggest travel trade event this month.

VisitScotland Expo 2017, which takes place at Glasgow’s SEC (Scottish Event Campus) on 26 and 27 April, will be the 38th staging of Scotland’s biggest business-to-business event for the travel trade.

The national tourism organisation’s flagship show will give 276 Scottish tourism businesses – including accommodation providers, visitor attractions and activity providers – from every corner of the country the chance to showcase their products and services to more than 600 tour operators and travel agents from all over the world.

The event is expected to create a net economic impact of £2.5 million for the local economy while, thanks to one-to-one appointments facilitated by VisitScotland, exhibitors are expected to generate an average of £22,000 worth of gross turnover as a result of attending.

These businesses are all exhibiting for the first time this year, along with The Marcliffe Hotel & Spa in Aberdeen and ANM Group in Aberdeenshire.

These businesses will be showcasing their tourism offering to international tour operators and travel agents alongside other related businesses from the region, including Portsoy Community Enterprise Tourism Group, Aberdeen Airport Hotels: Crowne Plaza & Holiday Inn Express; Aberdeen Festivals; Grampian Transport Museum Trust and many more.

The region will also be visited during a number of Expo-related familiarisation (fam) trips, including one with 15 US travel agents. This fam trip takes place from 22 to 25 April and delegates will experience an Aberdeen bus tour, including visiting St Machar’s Cathedral and the Gordon Highlanders Museum, take lunch at Macdonald Norwood Hall Hotel, visit Dean’s of Huntly Visitor Centre and enjoy dinner at Macdonald Pittodrie House Hotel.

They will also visit Glendronach Distillery, Duff House, The Museum of Scottish Lighthouses at Fraserburgh, Peterhead Prison Museum, have an overnight stay at Meldrum House Hoteland visit castles at Crathes, Fyvie, Dunnottar and Castle Fraser.

Another fam trip for 16 pan-market delegates takes them on a Heritage & Culture of the Northern Coast experience, which visits Banff, Aberdeen Altens Hotel and a visit to Dunnottar Castle, Stonehaven.

Jo Robinson, VisitScotland Regional Director, said: “I am delighted that these tour operators and travel agents will get the chance to experience the very best attractions in our region on these fam trips.

“It is very encouraging to see so many businesses from Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire joining the many others from across Scotland that will be attending VisitScotland Expo to showcase what this fantastic region has to offer.

“Tourism is more than a holiday experience – it creates jobs, sustains communities and provides a shop window for business activity.

VisitScotland Expo provides local businesses with a fantastic opportunity to engage with tour operators and suppliers from all over the UK and overseas. It is crucial we work together to grow tourism and I am delighted to see such commitment from related businesses in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire.”

Jenni Fraser, Business Development Director of VisitAberdeenshire, said: “Attending Expo will allow us to plan for the short and long term future to attract visitors to our region from around the globe.

“In the short term, 2018 is the year of young people in Scotland, which has a strong connection to our unique cultural output including the International Youth Festival and Techfest, while our castles have the ability to bring children’s fairytales to life.

“Looking further ahead to 2020, the regional development of the new 12,500 capacity Exhibition and Conference Centre will be complete, and cruise ships will be docked on the quayside thanks to the extension of the harbour. Combined with the ongoing route developments both on the ground and in the air, this is a very exciting time for us all in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire.”