Meet VisitScotland's new man in Aberdeen City and Shire

Press release   •   Jan 29, 2014 00:00 GMT

Maximising tourism opportunities and developing and strengthening partnerships within Aberdeen City and Shire are among the aims of VisitScotland’s new Regional Director as the country prepares to welcome the world in 2014.

Philip Smith, who lives in Glenshee and grew up in Dunoon, Argyll, expressed his delight at joining the national tourism organisation at such a pivotal time.

This year, Scotland will host a line-up of global events, including The Ryder Cup, Glasgow Commonwealth Games and Homecoming 2014, which will attract visitors from all over the world.

Philip began his tourism career working within the visitor information network in Scotland and the national marketing project Sail Scotland, before moving south to be Head of International Marketing at the Heart of England Tourist Board and Market & Trade Relations manager at VisitBritain.

In the 10 years prior to joining VisitScotland, Philip has delivered a large variety of high-profile projects in the private and public sector in Scotland, including events and exhibitions, strategy development, marketing plans and feasibility studies.

Philip, who has an MA (Hons) in Geography from the University of Edinburgh, said: “Tourism is a key driver to the economy of Aberdeen City and Shire, generating £492 million in visitor spend and supporting 16,900 jobs. This is an exciting time for the region with the creation of new hotels, including the planned 5* Chester Hotel, the new Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre (AECC) and the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open being held at the Royal Aberdeen Golf Club.

“It is great to be part of such a unique year for Scotland, with a huge line-up of events taking place, all of which put our country firmly on the map as a must-visit destination.

“As an organisation, we are working with the tourism industry and partners across Scotland to ensure it is a year like no other. I am keen to work with our partners in this region, to discuss their plans and, as we move through 2014, help them capitalise on this unique year for Scottish tourism.

“We are carrying out a great deal of partnership work with the local authorities, local destination organisations and many other external stakeholders, in order to market Aberdeen City and Shire as a must-see and must-return location.

“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.

“Every visitor to this region should have a memorable trip as the country takes centre stage with a programme of global events, which represent an unprecedented opportunity for tourism.”

Philip is based at VisitScotland’s office in Aberdeen’s Fraser Place.


Philip is available for interviews, please contact the press office to arrange.

For further information, please contact:

Mon - Wed:

Kim Walton, Corporate Press Officer North, VisitScotland

Tel: (01224) 269187 or 07805 802508


Wed - Fri:

Lorna MacLennan, Corporate Press Officer North, VisitScotland


Tel: (01463) 252432 Mobile: 07785 515469

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 has three key roles:
  1. To market Scotland to all parts of the world to attract visitors
  2. To provide information – and inspiration – to visitors and potential visitors so they get the best out of a visit to Scotland
  3. To provide quality assurance to visitors and quality advice to the industry and partners to help the industry meet and strive to exceed customer expectations
  • 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.
  • 2014 is the year Scotland welcomes the world, when it hosts the Glasgow Commonwealth Games, the Ryder Cup at Gleneagles and more than 800 Homecoming events throughout the country.For more information on Homecoming Scotland 2014, go to 
  • The VisitScotland Information Centre network is a unique face-to-face channel engaging with around five million visitors and locals each year. Everyone who uses a VisitScotland Information Centre goes on to spend an additional £5.35, generating over £24 million for Scotland’s economy. 
  • According to a recent Deloitte study, tourism employs 270,000 people in Scotland in 20,000 diverse businesses. The same study calculates that the industry contributes £11 billion annually (direct and indirect impact, including day visits) and supports around 10 per cent of employment in Scotland. Almost 16 million tourists take overnight trips to Scotland.
  • 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 tourism in Scotland go to
  • For more information on VisitScotland’s annual review please go to