Aberdeenshire Council said it “remains committed to developing tourism across the region” this year as it prepares to welcome visitors for next season.
A council spokesperson said in a statement: “While we may not have the best weather we were now expecting, the county is preparing for another influx of visitors to its stunning countryside and coast.
A Mecca for locals and visitors alike, Aberdeenshire relies on a strong tourism strategy to support its many communities and businesses.
“During recent years, despite the clear impact of the Covid pandemic, it has been heartening to see large numbers of visitors enjoying the local sights and scenes as they continue to support our local stores and services.
“As part of its economic development strategy, Aberdeenshire Council continues to invest and support VisitAberdeenshire – together with Aberdeen City Council and Opportunity North East (ONE) – which promote high-quality visitor experiences in the North East of Scotland to target audiences in the UK and abroad on our behalf.”
However, this comment comes against the backdrop of confirmed significant cuts to VisitAbereenshire’s funding which have been announced in the council’s budget plans.
They continued, “While the council agreed to cut funding during difficult budget discussions, there remains a strong commitment from the local authority and partners to deliver a sustainable, inclusive and high-quality visitor experience.”
The area has several tourist attractions for people of all ages to enjoy including:
Macduff Marine Aquarium – where you’ll meet all kinds of sea creatures that live in the Moray Firth, Scotland’s largest bay
Peterhead Prison Museum – Step back in time as you walk through 125 years of turbulent history inside Scotland’s toughest prison
Scottish Lighthouse Museum – Tour this nationally important collection of lighthouse lenses, artefacts, archives and Kinnaird Head Castle and Lighthouse – the UK’s only inhabited lighthouse
Grampian Transport Museum – features an impressive collection of transport exhibits, from 19th century traveling carriages to some of the fastest automobiles ever built
Aberdeenshire also has four stunning country parks at Eden, Alford, Ballymedy and Hado where you wander through stunning woodland and coastline, learning about the areas rich history and enjoying the playpens and other attractions they have to offer.
And fresh from hosting the Tour of Britain last year, Aberdeenshire has a host of top activities and events that keep tourists coming back year after year.
Whether you want to test your cycling prowess at the stunning Aberdeenshire Ascents, enjoy a fun-filled day out at Portsoy’s Scottish Traditional Boat Festival or take in the sights and sounds of the Braemar Gathering, there is something for everyone.
Communities are also front and center, staging a range of events whether it’s the hugely popular agricultural festival such as the Torre Show, Scottish Peterhead Week – the longest traditional show of its kind in Scotland – or Stonehaven’s spectacular Balls of Fire – Aberdeenshire has it covered.
Cllr John Crawley, chair of the council’s Infrastructure Services Committee, said: “There is no doubt that we in Aberdeenshire are fortunate with so many beautiful towns and villages here on our doorstep each offering a wealth of attractions and offerings for visitors from within the region itself or from further afield.
“Offering a wide range of retail, hospitality and leisure activities and activities, our business sector will be looking for a busy season ahead as they continue to recover from the pandemic and now have to deal with pressures related to cost of living and energy prices.
“While we are all very upset at the moment, I hope we can all show our support for the sector while enjoying great days out across Aberdeenshire exploring both our popular attractions and those hidden gems waiting to be discovered.”
Cllr Vice President Isobel Davidson added: “From the county to the coast, visitors to Aberdeenshire are guaranteed a warm welcome from our communities and businesses that offer such a wide range of offerings.
“Tourism is hugely important in the North East supporting more than 18,000 jobs through some 1,400 diverse businesses – so this year let’s all do our part to get outdoors and rediscover our amazing region.”
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