North-east tourism’s funding boost

Balmoral Castle is a major tourist attraction on Deeside
Balmoral Castle is a major tourist attraction on Deeside

Councillors have approved a further three-year funding package of more than £1.3 million for North-east tourism body VisitAberdeenshire.

The agreement by Aberdeenshire Council’s Infrastructure Services Committee (ISC) came shortly after North-east businesses lifted ten of 13 top accolades at a tourism awards ceremony.

Belinda Miller, the council’s head of ecomonic development, told the ISC that VisitAberdeenshire had “come a long way” since its inception in 2016.

She said it had made “huge improvements” to put the management organisation on a sound footing and has created a new destination strategy and a much tighter business plan.

Ms Miller said: “We now have key performances indicators for outcomes as well as outputs.

“There is a clear direction from Chris Foy as the chief executive to ensure they can clearly demonstrate that the funding is being used to make tourism income into the region actually far better.”

With councillors approving the £415,000 annual support for each of the next three financial years, the economic development team will now report back to the committee annually on VisitAberdeenshire activities, outcomes and performance.

VisitAberdeenshire was established in 2016 as the ‘destination management organisation’ for Aberdeenshire and Aberdeen.