Showcasing Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire to the world

Tour operators, travel agents and destination management companies from the UK and around the world have been sampling the best of Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire’s tourism offering during a series of familiarisation trips.

By Dawn Renton
Wednesday, 1st June 2022, 8:52 am
Updated Wednesday, 1st June 2022, 8:52 am
A small group of international tour operators/travel agents enjoyed a private guided tour of the Braemar Highland Games Centre. (Pic: VisitScotland / Newsline Media)
A small group of international tour operators/travel agents enjoyed a private guided tour of the Braemar Highland Games Centre. (Pic: VisitScotland / Newsline Media)

Discover Scotland 2022 has, for the first time this year, combined an online business-to-business event, known as Discover Scotland: Reconnect 2022, which took place last month, with regional showcases, known as Discover Scotland: Live Showcase being held in May and September 2022.

These showcases focus on the promotion of trade-ready responsible and sustainable Scottish tourism businesses and their products, to key buyers from around 10 international markets.  

For the first regional showcase, 28 international buyers were split into three groups to visit locations, hotels and attractions in Aberdeenshire and Tay Country over a four-day period. These were themed Scotland’s Iconic Cities – Splendours of the East to experience the region’s finest food and drink; Wonders of the East to enjoy the region’s castles, glens and royal connections and Authentic Adventures in the East, where buyers experienced some of the greatest outdoors that Scotland has to offer.

Among the countries and territories represented on the trips were Scotland’s key markets - the UK, Canada, USA, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Netherlands and Belgium, as well as the emerging market of China.

The groups visited a number of locations and attractions in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire, which included receiving a guided tour of Aberdeen Art Gallery, accommodation at the Sandman Hotel, a visit to the Gordon Highlanders Museum, a guided tour of Provost Skene’s House, lunch at the Silver Darling restaurant, a one hour walk with Walking Tours of Aberdeen and a gin-making class with Aberdeen Gin Distillery.

Some group members also went to Drum Castle, visited Aberdeenshire Highland Cattle, had lunch at the Deeside Inn and enjoyed a private guided tour of the Braemar Highland Games Centre whilst others went to the Banchory Lodge Hotel, met the owners of Wild Discovery in Crathie and enjoyed a walk at Mar Lodge.

Buyers and businesses of the region that attended VisitScotland’s virtual event in April were also invited to join two evening events hosted by VisitScotland, destination management organisation VisitAberdeenshire and Scotland’s Tay Country partners in the cities of Aberdeen and Dundee.

Discover Scotland 2022 is the only travel trade series that exclusively promotes Scotland as a visitor destination and enables Scottish businesses to connect with key buyers from around the globe to help attract visitors, from near and far, to Scotland and help rebuild Scotland’s valuable tourism industry.  

Caroline Warburton, VisitScotland Regional Leadership Director, said: “These important in-person regional showcases have complemented the virtual event well and are one way in which VisitScotland is supporting the tourism industry recover.

"The showcase provides the chance for key international and UK buyers to refamiliarise themselves with Scotland, meet local tourism businesses, and experience the best of our region for themselves. In turn we hope they will bring more visitors to the region."