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Just the ticket!

Press Release   •   Apr 17, 2018 10:00 BST

Mike Ward, Curator at the GTM (left) is pictured with Lynda McGuigan, Manager at the Museum of Scottish Lighthouses; Garry Marsden, Visitor Enterprise Manager at Balmoral Castle and Jo Robinson, VisitScotland Regional Director

Nine visitor attractions in the North-east will be joining in a new initiative which offers paying visitors to any one of the nine attractions the chance to visit a choice of three more participating attractions completely free of charge.

The scheme – called Spring Rover – was successfully piloted from September to November 2017 and is designed to increase visitor numbers in the traditionally quieter months of the year.

The objectives are to offer value for money in the normally quieter months, encourage more visitors to Aberdeenshire and more local people to visit the region’s leading attractions and to increase the length of visitor’s stay in the region.

The six attractions which participated in the initial pilot were Braemar Castle, Crathes Castle, Grampian Transport Museum, Aberdeen Science Centre, The Museum of Scottish Lighthouses and the Macduff Marine Aquarium. Each attraction issued 1,000 special tickets on a first-come, first-served basis.

This time, three further attractions have joined – Balmoral Castle, Royal Lochnagar Distillery and The Gordon Highlanders Museum - and the scheme will run from mid-April to the end of June 2018.

VisitScotland Regional Director Jo Robinson, said: “I am delighted that the pilot initiative proved so successful that it is to be officially launched.

“By working together, these businesses can all benefit from visitors who, we hope, will stay longer and spend more when they are here. This, in turn helps the visitor economy to grow as visitors shop, stay and eat in the local area.

“We promote Scotland with Scotland. Partnership and collaboration is at the heart of Scottish tourism and VisitScotland works with local industry to develop and deliver innovative initiatives that grow the visitor economy.”

Mike Ward, Curator at the Grampian Transport Museum, said: For many attractions in Aberdeenshire, the season peaks during school holidays. To encourage improved visitor movement at quieter times, the Spring and Autumn Rover ticket is designed to facilitate visits to key attractions by our local community and visitors to the area.

“In this way, all of the venues involved benefit from being generally busier, ‘secondary spend’ and improved opportunity for recommendation - a powerful marketing tool. The tickets also encourage visitors to stay longer in the area and if promoted effectively outside the area will add to the general appeal of Aberdeenshire in attracting visitors.”

Lynda McGuigan, Manager at the Museum of Scottish Lighthouses, said: “I decided to get involved in this project because I believe it is important for all of us around the region to work together.

“By taking part in this project is will benefit individual businesses but also it will also benefit the region as a whole. The project also gives the collective the opportunity to record useful marketing information about the choices made by visitors i.e. what sort of visits they make, how far do they travel around the region, how long do they stay etc.

“The hope is that we also benefit financially even from the free visitors, as they may be more inclined to spend in the shop or the café whilst on a free visit. It also means that visitors will take photographs on the visits and these will hopefully make their way onto social media in some form or be taken back to the visitors home land or town and so will widen the reach for our attractions.”

Garry Marsden, Visitor Enterprise Manager at Balmoral Castle, said:Balmoral is delighted to be part of the Spring Rover Ticket pilot. This exciting new offer for visitors to Aberdeenshire will encourage people to travel across the shire exploring the rich diversity of this destination whilst offering unbelievable value to visitors.”

Chris Foy, Chief Executive of VisitAberdeenshire said: “These ideas are often discussed but require a special level of commitment to get off the ground. Here nine of our top regional attractions have all committed their resources to an initiative to help the whole area. The marketing information gathered from the Spring Rover will be fascinating to see.”

For more information, visit www.gtm.org.uk

Notes to Editors

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2018 Year of Young People

  • The Year of Young People 2018 will be the next of the Scottish Government’s series of themed years, following the Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology 2017.
  • The Year of Young People (YoYP 2018) will inspire Scotland through its young people aged 8 to 26, celebrating their achievements, valuing their contributions to communities and creating new opportunities for them to shine locally, nationally and globally
  • Central to YoYP 2018 will be a celebratory events programme that puts young people at the heart of its development and delivery, creating new and valuable experiences for young Scots and the wider public, with links to the inaugural 2018 European Championships.
  • Over 200 young people throughout Scotland are currently being recruited to become YoYP 2018 Ambassadors. Ambassadors will ensure that people and organisations in their communities know about what’s happening and will lead on projects and activities to create events and opportunities to celebrate young people.
  • The Year of Young People will have six themes which were developed in co-production with young people themselves:
  • oParticipation – looking at how young people can influence public services and decisions which affect their lives
  • oEducation – creating a stronger role for young people in shaping their learning
  • oHealth and Wellbeing – supporting young people to lead healthier, active lives and have opportunities to learn about and improve their mental health and resilience
  • oEquality and Discrimination – broadcasting the value of young Scots, challenging negative perceptions of young people, and supporting young people to take leading roles in challenging discrimination in all its forms.
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  • oCulture – celebrating young people’s talent and contribution to Scottish culture and arts.
  • Further information on what’s happening and how people can get involved can be found on the new website www.yoyp2018.scot or @YOYP2018 on Twitter.