Tourism businesses through Aberdeen City and Shire are gearing up for a busy season ahead and VisitScotland’s Regional Director, Jo Robinson, is hoping to experience many of the regional events.
Highland games, garden open days, musical events, beer festivals and a unique gems exhibition are amongst the events taking place across the region hoping to attract tourists and locals alike through the summer months.
Jo Robinson, VisitScotland Regional Director, said:
“I like to get along to the many different and varied events that visitors can enjoy when visiting Aberdeen City and Shire through the summer months, as there is always something interesting to experience, be it a musical or sporting event, country fair or festival.
“It is always encouraging to hear of new events launching in Aberdeen City and Shire, as well as seeing the continuation of existing successful events, such as the Braemar Gathering and Scottish Traditional Boat Festival.”
Amongst the wide array of events taking place in Aberdeen City and Shire this year are the Charity Gardens Opening at Finzean House and Drumtochty Highland Games, both in June, Turriff Show, Scotland’s largest two-day agricultural show, on July 31 and August 1 and Banchory Beer Festival in August.
Super Saturdays are also taking place in Fraserburgh, with market stalls, demonstrations, street entertainment and children’s activities on selected Saturdays from June onwards.
“Aberdeen City and Shire is bursting with things to see and do and places to stay. The region boasts excellent wildlife watching opportunities, popular outdoor pursuits, fantastic walking choices, beautiful beaches and great visitor attractions.
“Around my home in Inverbervie there are many coastal paths and country trails to enjoy. At the moment I am training for a 10k run so I am out most nights after work, enjoying running these beautiful routes, but at weekends the whole family will join me and we’ll walk or cycle to Gourdon or Johnshaven.
“My family is also keen on mountain biking and we will be getting out and about as much as we can over the summer months. My favourite places to ride are Glen Tanar, Tyrebagger and Bennachie. This year, I’d also like to venture into Moray, where I’ve heard there are also fantastic cycle routes.
“I have recently bought a trailer tent and will be taking my family for long weekends away in the Cairngorms and along the Banffshire coast to enjoy what we have right here on our doorstep.”
Hot on the heels of 2015 – Scotland’s Year of Food & Drink, there are also a number of ‘foodie’ events taking place in the region over the coming months, including Midsummer Beer Happening in Stonehaven and Taste of Grampian in Inverurie both in June and Craft and Food – Meet the Makers at Drum Castle in October.
“I am looking forward to attending Taste of Grampian and sampling some delicious local produce as well as seeing the results of the hard work of some of Aberdeenshire’s most talented food and drink industry employees.
“This year, it’s all about innovation, architecture and design and I am delighted to hear that that the Cairngorms Gems Exhibition, at Braemar Castle, is aligning with this.
“Celebrating Scotland’s Year of Architecture, Innovation and Design, it will feature three of the largest surviving crystals of smoky quartz from the Cairngorms Mountains, not normally on display to the public.
“The exhibition tells the story of the use of Cairngorm quartz in Scottish jewellery and artefacts, starting in the 1700s and reaching a peak following Queen Victoria’s arrival on Deeside in 1848. Queen Victoria’s love of Scottish jewellery and Highland dress led to an explosion of interest in these gemstones and Scottish pebble jewellery is considered highly collectable today.”
Earlier this year, VisitScotland launched its biggest ever global campaign and social movement – Spirit of Scotland. The campaign is built on extensive research that shows the people think Scotland has a unique spirit – whether it’s the magic of the landscapes or the warmth of the people.
“Aberdeen City and Shire has its own ScotSpirit, with breathtaking scenery, friendly locals and fun experiences up for grabs at every turn.
“I would encourage anyone visiting Aberdeen City and Shire this summer to share their experience of the Spirit of Scotland through #ScotSpirit and in doing so, become part of a special movement with social, economic and charitable aims.”
The popularity and variety of events throughout the season ahead gives the local visitor economy a welcome boost, with hotels, B&Bs, restaurants and cafes all benefiting.
“Tourism is more than a holiday experience – it creates jobs, sustains communities and provides a shop window for business activity. The visitor economy causes a ripple effect that touches every industry, business and community in the region.
“Without tourism, many remote communities would not be sustainable and business sectors like drink, retail or construction would be severely impacted. A strong visitor economy helps to position us on the world stage, with every tourism experience having the potential to become a business transaction.
“Tourism is incredibly important to Aberdeen City and Shire and ongoing refurbishments, redevelopments and inward investment to the industry are welcome and are critical for tourism, with the important knock-on effect it has to all other industries.
“We all need to be strong ambassadors for our regions and to get behind these exciting events and the opportunities they can bring to the region. I wish everyone an excellent and prosperous season!”