Visit Aberdeenshire Tourism Conference
by Karen Molloy
A good day out of the office energises me, and yesterday was a day very well spent at the VisitAberdeenshire conference.
I've been attending networking events in the local business community for over 20 years so it was a strange experience to enter a room and know only 1 or 2 faces from the 200 attendees – it reminded me how it feels to be a recruiter at the start of your career, giving me renewed understanding of what our trainees go through!
I was there in my capacity as a trustee for the Aberdeen Art Gallery and Museums redevelopment project – which will be a fantastic visitor destination. The authoritative speakers gave interesting presentations highlighting how many fabulous things are going on around the region. I now have a resounding comeback for all the naysayers – you know who you are!
I learned more about the new AECC from John Sharkey of SMG Europe and Chris Bain gave an overview of the harbour redevelopment which will bring large cruise ships to the city from 2020 (note to self: visitor signposting from harbour to art gallery please!).
The passion from every speaker for their individual projects and initiatives is infectious and I particularly enjoyed hearing about North East 250, North East Trail Centre and the magnificent Greyhope Bay (crowdfunding currently open at https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/the-bridge-to-greyhope-bay/)
With so many transformational projects underway as well as a wealth of new small business start-ups focusing on great tourist and hospitality experiences (anyone visited www.barracastle.co.uk yet?) I'm looking forward to rediscovering and enjoying our region in the months and years to come.