Research confirms new visitor accommodation vital to future of Deeside and Strathdon

Research conducted by Scottish Enterprise has confirmed that new and improved tourism accommodation is key to the future economic success of Deeside and Strathdon.

The study identifies investment opportunities in the area’s accommodation and lodging sector as part of a drive to deliver tourism improvements and position the region as a world class mountain valley destination.  

Working with investors and developers to appraise new and existing resort and accommodation opportunities, Scottish Enterprise has identified specific accommodation gaps where in some areas the type and quality does not match visitor requirements.

In order to address this and accommodate any increase in visitor numbers, Scottish Enterprise estimates that a variety of niche resorts, boutique hotels, self catering lodges, spas and quality fully services hotels are needed.

The framework applied in the study allowed consultants to give geographical considerations to accommodation gaps by separating the region into five zones.

Tourism development in the area is one of the key priorities for public/private partnership Aberdeen City and Shire Economic Future with £5.8m funding being invested by Scottish Enterprise, Aberdeenshire Council, Cairngorms National Park Authority and Scottish Natural Heritage.  

David Littlejohn, director of industries and infrastructure at Scottish Enterprise, commented: “The area offers significant opportunities to work with businesses to help them align their offering to a 21st Century market and we hope that this study provides a basis to develop an attractive proposition for potential inward investors and developers in the tourism and leisure industry.”

Notes to editors

Geographic Zones

Western Approach’ to traditional Royal Deeside area – encapsulates land from Glenshee via Braemar area to Crathie in Royal Deeside;

‘West Central Deeside’ – one of two ‘core’ Royal Deeside areas. Includes the area from Crathie / Balmoral Castle area to Pannanich, just East of Ballater (includes Ballater);

‘East Central Deeside’ – the other core Royal Deeside area including the land running East from Pannanich to Aboyne (includes Aboyne);

An area termed the ‘Eastern Approach’ – includes land from Banchory (North and South of the Dee) to Aboyne;

‘Strathdon’ – includes the area within the National Park around the settlement itself and other lands to the East and South where it joins with West and East Central Deeside.




Geography / Zone

50+ Unit Niche Resort

Eastern Approach / East and West Central Zones

Boutique Hotel

4 Deeside Zones

Retreat / Outward-Bound

All Zones apart from Eastern Approach but primarily Strathdon and Western Approach

Self-Catering / Eco-Lodges (smaller groups 5-10 units)

All Zones except Eastern Approach

Generic Self-Catering / Lodges, etc (20-25 units)

All Zones apart from Strathdon

Residential Spa

Seek locations / sites suitable for residential and day market, primarily Eastern Approach and East Central Zone

Quality Hotels (with conference / teambuilding facilities and leisure facilities if appropriate) – see upgrade of existing hotels

All Zones apart from Strathdon

Contact Information