Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire’s 5-year destination strategy was launched in 2018 running through to 2023. What a difference a couple of years make! Much has changed since then meaning the interim review is rather more fundamental than might have been anticipated. VisitAberdeenshire has commissioned us and our good friends at market intelligence analysts Scattered Clouds to take a long hard look at demand and supply side factors. The impact of Covid-19, market changes and preferences, challenging net-zero targets nationally and a renewed focus on responsible tourism, as well as major investment in adventure tourism and food and drink tourism are all under consideration. We’re currently asking ourselves that ‘so what’ question to get to the bottom of what changes might be necessary.
Market trends are always a punt in the dark but never more than now. It’s hard to unpick whether holiday decision making is changed for good or whether we are in transition to the oft-discussed new normal. It’s a no-brainer that value will be important as cost of living increases, but will working from home mean people are desperate to get out or more inclined to enjoy the things they’ve bought? Will the desire to be out of doors persist or are city breaks just waiting to bounce back?
It’s great to be back in the north east pondering these issues and building on the positioning and narrative work we did a few years back. As well as desk based research we’ve been speaking to stakeholders, surveying business and will be holding a live workshop in March to make sure there is plenty local input.
The refreshed tourism strategy guiding the investment, development and marketing priorities for this fabulous part of Scotland will be produced in late Spring.