20 March 2024

Making valuable Connections  in Aberdeenshire

Tourism businesses from Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire will be among those attending VisitScotland’s flagship travel trade event in the Granite City next month. 


Taking place 17-18 April at the P&J Live in Aberdeen, VisitScotland Connect 2024 is designed to grow the country’s share of global travel in a sustainable way. Local tourism businesses will meet and do business with travel intermediaries, including tour operators, travel advisors and Destination Management Companies representing Scotland’s most important visitor markets.  


More than 220 trade-ready Scottish tourism businesses, including accommodation, experiences and attractions will connect with over 250 buyers - who plan inspirational Scotland trips for their clients – representing 23 countries, including those in North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific and the UK domestic market.   


Many visitors to Scotland seek the reassurance and guidance offered by travel intermediaries to plan and book their holiday travels. VisitScotland Connect is an integral part of the national tourism organisation’s support to enable Scottish businesses to grow their business through this route to market and grow the nation’s share of visitors that stay longer and spend more. 


By taking part in VisitScotland Connect 2024, Scottish tourism businesses get the opportunity to engage with travel intermediaries in a workshop-style format, discussing new destinations and products to include in travel itineraries being sold globally in 2025 and 2026.


There are around 25 businesses from the region joining VisitScotland Connect including The Chester Hotel, Dalriada Luxury Lodges, Trump International, Luxe Scot, Maryculter House, Aberdeen Archives, Gallery & Museums and Meldrum House Hotel & Golf Course.  The region will also be promoted by VisitAberdeenshire. 


This year, Aberdeenshire Council has also provided tourism development support in the form of financial grants allowing several small and medium sized tourism businesses new to working with travel trade to attend VisitScotland Connect for the first time. 


VisitAberdeenshire and VisitScotland will provide a programme of support for these businesses to become travel trade ready before the event. 


These businesses include Aberdeenshire Highland Cattle and Lochside Clydesdales; Aberdeenshire Sheepdogs; Braemar Highland Experience; Farm Stop; Garioch Heritage Centre; Grampian Escapes & Tours; Grampian Transport Museum; Hillgoers; Lost Loch Spirits; Macduff Marine Aquarium/Live Life Aberdeenshire; Museum of Scottish Lighthouses Trust and Wild Braemar. 


Cllr Alan Turner, Chair of Aberdeenshire Council’s Infrastructure Services Committee, said: “VisitScotland Connect continues to play a vital role in establishing important connections between our local businesses and the wider tourist trade which is critical for Aberdeenshire. 


“As a council, we very much welcome being a part of an event which continues to support businesses in their ambitions to internationalise and the subsequent business potential it brings not just to the North-east but to Scotland’s hugely valuable tourism industry.” 


In addition to the travel trade event in Aberdeen, a specially curated programme of familiarisation trips (fam trips) will showcase the best of Scotland’s tourism offering across 20 regions.   

Highlighting products with a strong emphasis on sustainability, as well as a sample of local culture, these fam trips allow travel trade representatives to experience first-hand the offering of a variety of different destinations.   


Last year’s VisitScotland Connect was the first time the national tourism organisation ran a workshop-style event based on 1-2-1 meeting and networking opportunities, offering a more targeted opportunity to connect product developers and contract managers with Scottish tourism businesses and suppliers.    

Overall feedback from the 2023 event revealed that both buyers and suppliers preferred the new format, with 91% of Scottish businesses said they anticipated generating sales from attending VisitScotland Connect 2023.  


David Jackson, VisitScotland Regional Director, said: “Demand for Scotland as a visitor destination remains strong and we are thrilled to be able to bring the Scottish tourism industry and travel advisors and tour operators from across the world together again at the P&J Live in Aberdeen.  

“Local tourism businesses really appreciate that all-important opportunity to meet in person with travel advisors and tour operators to highlight their products and experiences, as well as the brilliant offering we have here in the North-east. Helping businesses to reach new markets and stimulating demand for Scotland is all part of our comprehensive marketing strategy which works year-round to bring visitors to Scotland.”    

Steven Gow, General Manager of the Chester Hotel in Aberdeen, said: “VisitScotland Connect gives local tourism and hospitality businesses of all sizes, the chance to meet face-to-face with over 250 tour operators and advisors from 23 countries. It offers an excellent opportunity for North-east businesses to showcase their products and services to a group of influential individuals they would never have the chance to contact otherwise.  VisitScotland Connect returning to Aberdeen this year also gives us the collective opportunity to showcase the region to these agents.” 

Christina Polson Founder and Director of Farm Stop in Portlethen, Aberdeenshire, said: “I am really looking forward to attending VisitScotland Connect for the first time this year. This event provides a great opportunity for us to showcase Farm Stop, form new business connections and to help increase tourism into Aberdeenshire.” 


Please note, this is a ticketed event and only registered attendees can attend. 

For more information, please visit: Connecting Scotland to the world - News |