Drive tourism forward in NE

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Aberdeen City & Shire Tourism Partnership launched their strategy for 2013 – 2020 on Monday at Cruden Bay Golf Club.

The strategy aims to capitalise on existing tourism strengths of the North-east: golf; business tourism; events, festivals and culture; and nature and heritage.

Before the launch, Provost of Aberdeenshire, Councillor Jill Webster and Provost of Aberdeen City, Councillor George Adam unvailed the map of the new Aberdeenshire Coastal Path at the Bullers of Buchan.

Speaking at Cruden Bay, councillor Webster said: “I am delighted to be involved. Tourism is an important priority for our economic future as it is worth an estimated £340 million each year. The new 91 mile path from St Cyrus to Cullen fits in with key opportunities including nature, heritage and activities as well as unspoiled landscape, wildlife, nature reserves and a rich and varied maritime which are potential benefits to the area.

“National Geographic magazine voted the stretch the 12th most beautiful in the planet and if you look out the window here, you can see why.

“The Bullers of Buchan are one of my very favourite places. It is magical and looking out to sea, you feel like the only person in the world. Slains Castle is also awe inspiring and it makes me wonder if Dracula will pounce at any moment!”

Councillor Adam said: “I too am delighted to be involved. It is a fantastic opportunity for growth and we have a great diversity to offer visitors including golf, nature, heritage and activities, business tourism and events, festivals, culture and arts.

“We have high potential golf links well placed to capitalize including the possibility of a second Trump Golf Course and the Open coming to the area.

“We are celebrated as one of the most creative areas in Scotland with the Highland Games and music festivals.

“The enthusiasm of the strategy is greatly welcomed and I encourage that we work together to reach our potential.”

Peterhead South & Cruden SNP councillor Stephen Smith, who attended the launch, said: “Although there is a feeling that the North-east is often left out as a tourist destination, largely due to geography, there is much here to build on, such as our golf courses, our annuals shows and events such as Turriff Show and Portsoy Boat Festival, and the nature of the area such as the Bullers O’Buchan.

“For these opportunities, we absolutely need to improve the customer experience, expand accommodation provision in some areas and develop leadership and management skills to drive this forward.

“The end result if it is done well will be a huge increase in visitor spend in the north-east, boosting the local economy of our towns and villages.”