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Council backs VisitAberdeen bid to promote the city

06/11/12

Newly established destination marketing organisation VisitAberdeen has secured financial support from Aberdeen City Council.

Members of the Enterprise, Planning and Infrastructure Committee agreed to allocate 200,000 to VisitAberdeen for its work from November 2012 to March 2013 and, subject to the council's normal budgetary process, a further 520,000 a year for the next four years.

The funding will be met from the City Promotion Budget and the transfer of resources previously used to pay for VisitScotland's services. The Council's funding will be matched by significant additional financial contributions from the private sector and other non-council income streams, equivalent to at least 50% of VisitAberdeen's operating costs.

VisitAberdeen was established to identify target leisure and business tourism markets and convince them that Aberdeen is the best destination available to them. Its five key objectives will be to:
•market Aberdeen with energy;
•provide great reasons to visit;
•deliver exceptional results for investors by realising the full tourism potential of Aberdeen;
•promote tourism as everybody's business;
•run a tight ship.

Council officers worked in partnership with VisitScotland, ACSEF, Aberdeen and Grampian Chamber of Commerce and private sector tourism businesses to establish the organisation, which recently appointed ex-Shell communications and external affairs executive Steve Harris as its chief executive.

Council leader and Enterprise, Planning and Infrastructure convener Councillor Barney Crockett said: "Aberdeen has enormous potential as a business and tourism market. We already attract thousands of tourists each year, but we could attract many, many more.

"VisitAberdeen is ideally placed to build on existing markets and identify new ones, both in the UK and overseas to really promote the city as the place to visit. It really is a fantastic city and a fantastic place to not only live, work and learn, but also to visit and do business. We have so much to offer and I am sure that the VisitAberdeen team will do their utmost to promote the city and secure new business for it."

VisitAberdeen chief executive Steve Harris said: "I am absolutely delighted that the city council has voted to support VisitAberdeen today. Destination marketing organisations are only successful where they have the support of their local council, so today is a big step forward for us. The leadership that the city has shown here is a credit to all concerned.

"We also have support from the private sector in the form of the Aberdeen Business Improvement District and the Aberdeen City and Shire Hotels Association, so this is a great opportunity for private and public sectors to work together for the good of our city. Aberdeen is open for tourism."