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New tourism chief aims to showcase 'inspirational' region

Press Release   •   Mar 14, 2016 13:21 GMT

Showcasing the region as a tourism hotspot and developing and strengthening partnerships within Aberdeen City and Shire are amongst the aims of VisitScotland’s new Regional Director.

Jo Robinson, who is from Angus and has lived in Aberdeenshire for 13 years, expressed her delight at joining the national tourism organisation at such a pivotal time. Next month, the new Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire Tourism Company, known as VisitAberdeenshire, will begin to deliver the area’s tourism strategy, which aims to promote the area as a national and international destination for leisure and business.

Jo (pictured) said: “Tourism provides an international shop window for the North-east, creating 16,400 jobs and generating £351 million in visitor spend in 2014. Support for this area is vital to continue to build on this economic success and showcase what an inspiring place it is to visit and invest in.

“My role is to work collaboratively with the local authorities, destination organisations and other stakeholders to maximise the visitor economy and build on the successful development of tourism in Aberdeen City and Shire. It’s a really exciting time for tourism in Scotland, and I’m delighted to be working with our partners to help bring more visitors to the North-east, and ensure they enjoy the best possible experience while they are here.”

As 2016 is Scotland’s Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design, Jo believes it is a fantastic time for Aberdeen City and Shire to promote its creative industries, both old and new.

She added: “From textiles to technology, architecture to fashion and design, this themed year will shine a spotlight on Aberdeen City and Shire’s greatest assets and icons, as well as our hidden gems.

“Our Pictish and medieval architecture is first-class, we have award-winning design featured in the Granite City and along the Banffshire coast, and countless businesses throughout the region creating high quality Scottish products.”

With the launch of the new VisitScotland Spirit of Scotland campaign, Jo is also looking forward to hearing about, and helping to create, more #ScotSpirit stories across Aberdeen City and Shire.

Jo added: “We want everyone who cares for Scotland to get behind this campaign by using #ScotSpirit and in doing so become ambassadors for the country and create this very special movement.

“Scotland is a unique place inhabited by a unique people – a combination that creates an inimitable spirit. The emotional pull of this spirit can’t be duplicated by other destinations. You have to come to Scotland to experience it. But once you’ve felt it, our spirit will stay with you forever.

“This is an exciting time for the region with the creation of new hotels, including the Crowne Plaza at the airport, the new Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre (AECC) and the proposed new £100m Inchmarlo development on Royal Deeside.

“Tourism causes a ripple effect that touches every industry, business and community in Scotland and there is every reason that businesses in Aberdeen City and Shire should benefit from this too. Everyone can get involved and give our visitors the warmest welcome - from taxi drivers and shop assistants to hoteliers and B&B owners.”

After graduating with an MA (Hons) in History & International Relations from the University of Aberdeen, Jo pursued a career in the third sector with children’s charities JDRF and CLIC Sargent. More recently as Senior Corporate Partnerships Manager with the Royal National Lifeboat Institution, she has led a national team to develop corporate partnerships with major UK businesses.

Seven years in the third sector has seen her working on national campaigns, securing corporate sponsorships, and organising high-profile charity events in partnership with the oil and gas industry. She has worked with communities throughout the UK and Ireland to fund key assets and deliver awareness and engagement programmes.

Jo, who is based at VisitScotland’s office in Aberdeen’s Fraser Place, now lives in Inverbervie, where she enjoys making the most of the outdoor activities on offer with her husband Nick and their sons, Daniel and Jake.

Notes to Editors

  • Follow us on twitter: @visitscotnews
  • VisitScotland is Scotland’s national tourism organisation. Its core purpose is to maximise the economic benefit of tourism to Scotland.
  • The organisation’s core objective is to contribute to the Tourism 2020 Strategy ambition of growing tourism revenues by £1 billion by 2020.
  • This will be supported by seven overarching strategies:
    1. Marketing: we will market Scotland and its outstanding assets to visitors from all parts of the world, including the promotion of Scotland to people living in Scotland       to visit different parts of the country
    2. Events: we will support the national events strategy and its delivery, and sustain, develop and promote Scotland’s international profile as one of the world’s foremost events destinations
    3. Internationalisation and International Engagement: we will utilise all our platforms to enable Scottish-based tourism businesses to better understand international       opportunities and market to a global audience and we will work within One       Scotland Partnerships to optimise the potential of Scotland’s Diaspora and our strategic partners at regional, European and global levels
    4. Customer Experience: we will provide information and inspiration to visitors both locally and globally via their preferred medium of choice
    5. Quality and Sustainability: we will provide support and advice to businesses, with the goal of improving the quality and sustainability of the tourism sector in Scotland. We will provide quality assurance to visitors through our Quality Schemes
    6. Inclusive Tourism: we will strive to make tourism in Scotland inclusive and available to all
    7. Working in Partnership: we will listen to and work with the industry, partners and communities to shape our offering and support
  • VisitScotland works together with tourism businesses to make tourism a success for everyone and ensure the industry continues to grow.
  • The organisation employs 700 people and has offices and VisitScotland Information Centres across Scotland.
  • Spending by tourists in Scotland generates around £12 billion of economic activity in the wider Scottish supply chain and contributes around £6 billion to Scottish GDP (in basic prices). This represents about 5% of total Scottish GDP.
  • For VisitScotland’s press releases go to, tourism statistics and frequently asked questions go to
  • Where possible, a Gaelic speaker will be made available for broadcast interviews on request (Far an tèid iarraidh, agus far am bheil sin nar comas, bruidhinnidh neach le Gàidhlig aig agallamh)
  • For holiday information on Scotland go to
  • For information about business events in Scotland go to

    Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design 2016

  • 2016 will shine a spotlight on Scotland’s achievements in innovation, architecture and design through a wide-ranging, variety of new and existing activity.
  • The Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design begins on 1 January 2016 and ends on 31 December 2016 and will build on the momentum generated by the current 2015 Year of Food and Drink as well as previous years including Homecoming Scotland 2014, the Year of Creative and the Year of Natural.
  • Through a series of exciting events and activity, the year will showcase Scotland’s position as an “innovation nation”, its outstanding built heritage, and its thriving, internationally acclaimed creative industries sector.
  • The Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design is a Scottish Government initiative being led by VisitScotland, and supported by a variety of partners including Scottish Government, Creative Scotland, Architecture + Design Scotland, Scottish Tourism Alliance, Scottish Enterprise, The National Trust for Scotland, Historic Environment Scotland, Highlands and Islands Enterprise and The Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS).
  • The Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design events fund is managed by EventScotland, part of VisitScotland’s Events Directorate.
  • Join the conversation at #IAD2016
  • Events can join the 2016 Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design Partner Programme throughout the year by visiting