North East MSP Liam Kerr has tabled a motion at parliament hailing new figures showing that 2016 was a bumper year for tourism in the region.
Visit Scotland reported an increase in the number of people using tourist information centres throughout Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire, up by 3% from the previous year.
There was also a rise in footfall in key areas including Braemar (10%) and Aberdeen (1%), while the newly opened Peterhead Prison Museum has welcomed 45,000 visitors since it opened its doors in June.
Mr Kerr, a Scottish Conservative MSP said: “Given the well-documented difficulties facing the North East economy over the past two years, it is great news to hear that there has been an increase in the number of tourists visiting the area.
“Tourism has rightly been identified by Opportunity North East (ONE) as a key sector for future growth in this region as we look to diversify our economy in the long term.
“With new developments in the pipeline including the Jack Nicklaus golf course at the Ury Estate and the replacement Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre at Bucksburn, we should hope to see further increases in the years to come.
“I am also delighted to hear that the Peterhead Prison Museum has attracted more than 45,000 visitors since the gates were re-opened in June.
“This is a great example of a local firm stepping in to invest in what could prove to be a long-running and successful tourist attraction.”