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Funding festival fever in Aberdeen

Press Release   •   Feb 16, 2017 12:13 GMT

Jessie Gordon, from Aberdeen International Youth Festival, promotes the campaign.

A digital campaign with a bespoke eBook which markets Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire as an exciting cultural destination has received over £22,000 from the VisitScotland Growth Fund.

Entitled ‘Visit Aberdeenshire, True North, The Real Scotland’the campaign, led by VisitAberdeenshire and Aberdeen Festivals, sets out the city and surrounding area as a hidden cultural gem in the national crown, offering 10 diverse festivals that run throughout the year, as well as local food, excellent boutique hotels,architecture and history.

The region’s unique festivals offer everything from light and visual art and design, to an international youth festival, contemporary dance and jazz. The reopening of Aberdeen Art Gallery in 2017 and the city’s Music Hall - both following multi-million pound developments – draws attention to the city’s broader cultural offer.

Aberdeen and its surrounding region is highlighted in this promotion as a place where independent and locally-owned hotels and restaurants offer locally sourced foods and boutique hotel experiences.

The campaign, which aims to grow audiences to Aberdeen’s festivals as well as overnight weekend short stays, will be digitally-led. There will be targeted Trip Advisor and online Guardian adverts with links to the eBook as well as regional newspaper advertising.

The eBook will ‘carry’ the campaign and will tell the story of what an authentically-Scottish weekend - where visitors can experience food, fun and artisan festivals - would look like. The eBook will reveal the authentic visitor experience on offer and have links around the four ‘corners’ of the campaign – festivals, hotel partners, food and travel partners.

VisitScotland’s Growth Fund supports collaborative tourism marketing projects which focus on growth in the tourism sector and ensure that visitors experience the true Spirit of Scotland.

Growth Fund applicants are required to align their marketing with VisitScotland’s strategies and campaigns, including the global Spirit of Scotland campaign. They are also encouraged to think about how they can take advantage of Scotland’s Themed Years, with 2017 being named the Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology (HHA2017).

One of the events included in the eBook, SPECTRA - a four-day light extravaganza - is a partner funded event for HHA2017.

Jo Robinson, VisitScotland Regional Director, said: “This region has a number of strengths, not least its unique cultural offering, so I am delighted that the VisitScotland Growth Fund will help this digital campaign to spread the word even further.

“Over the last two years, Aberdeen Festivals have attracted many new visitors to this region and this year looks set to be no different, with a celebration of Aberdeen’s creative landscape, including SPECTRA, Aberdeen Jazz Festival, May Festival, NEOS, DanceLive and Sound.

“I hope this wide range of festivals - which offer something for everyone - will inspire even more people to come and visit this fantastic region.”

Steve Harris, Chair of Aberdeen Festivals and CEO of VisitAberdeenshire said:

“Securing a Growth Fund award through our festivals consortium for a second year has given the festivals and our partners a huge boost as we go into 2017. The Growth Fund award from VisitScotland has enabled us to develop new marketing collateral, such as the eBook, and given us the financial backing to market our festivals outwith the local area.

“We have also developed new partnerships as a result of the Growth Fund award with hotels, restaurants and travel providers which is central to our overall strategy of profiling Aberdeen and the North-east as a culturally exciting, authentic and high quality destination.”

For more information about the eBook, visit

To discover more about Aberdeen Festivals, visit

To find out more about the VisitScotland Growth Fund, go to

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    2017 Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology
  • 2017 is the year to delve into the past and discover Scotland’s fascinating stories through a wide-ranging variety of new and existing activity to drive the nation’s tourism and events sector, boosting tourism across Scotland.
  • The Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology begins on 1 January 2017 and will end on 31 December 2017. It will build on the momentum generated by previous themed years in Scotland including the 2015 Year of Food and Drink, Homecoming Scotland 2014, the Year of Creative and the Year of Natural.
  • The Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology is a Scottish Government initiative being led by VisitScotland, and supported by a variety of partners including Creative Scotland, Scottish Tourism Alliance, Scottish Enterprise, The National Trust for Scotland, Historic Environment Scotland, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Built Environment Forum Scotland, Heritage Lottery Fund, Museums Galleries Scotland and Traditional Arts and Culture Scotland.
  • The Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology is supported by £570,000 of Scottish Government funding.
  • The Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology events fund is managed by EventScotland, part of VisitScotland’s Events Directorate.
  • For more information visit or join the conversation at #HHA2017