Foy stressing rural sector’s potential attraction to visitors
The VisitAberdeenshire chief executive Chris Foy believes rural tourism can significantly boost the overall industry over the next five years.
But, in order to do so, businesses need to become more savvy.
Last year a record was set when more than 39.2 million foreign visitors came to Britain.
In addition there has been a strong growth in the global appetite to visit Scotland, which was named the Rough Guide’s destination of the year.
Recent figures suggest more than 80% of people who visit the north-east on holiday plan and book their itinerary online.
However, fewer than 40% of local businesses are able to take digital bookings.
Businesses also need help marketing of their brand and the local area.
Mr Foy said: “The importance of rural tourism is reflected in the priorities set within the destination strategy.
“There is a particular focus on food and drink, touring and great outdoors and culture heritage and events.
“The focus of these key areas is in response to visitor trends such as the desire for active holidays in nature’s playground and seeking disconnection from a chaotic world.
“The north-east of Scotland has a diverse tourism offer to meet these trends which includes Europe’s longest castle trail, a selection of Scotland’s best Highland Games, the North East 250 driving route, and experiencing an authentic Scottish farm.”