AWPR - VisitAberdeenshire and Aberdeen International Airport back GoNorthEast campaign

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VisitAberdeenshire and Aberdeen International Airport are today (DATE) announcing their support for the #GoNorthEast campaign, with both organisations stating the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route/Balmedie to Tipperty (AWPR/B-T) project is crucial for attracting more business and visitors to the North-east.
Chris Foy, chief executive officer of VisitAberdeenshire, and Carol Benzie, Aberdeen International Airport’s managing director, have both backed the project which is due to fully open in late Autumn 2018, stating it will support their organisations’ ambitions to significantly boost visitor levels to the North-east.
VisitAberdeenshire, which promotes visitor experiences across North East Scotland, has hailed the project as “the golden thread which connects the region.”
Chris Foy, who recently outlined VisitAberdeenshire’s target to raise visitor spend in the North-east to one billion pounds each year by 2023, said the project will help make the destination more accessible to visitors. He said:
“We have significant capacity to grow our tourism industry and the AWPR project will play a crucial part in enabling the renaissance of region. It’s the golden thread which runs between other major infrastructure projects in the city, such as the harbour and the AECC. It will help build confidence in the region and make us more attractive for business and leisure visitors.
“As well as offering increased connection opportunities in and around the city, the project also brings good news for smaller tourism operators in the north of region, like the Banffshire coast, which will benefit from easier access from the south.
“The AWPR is much more than a road project. It’s a strong part of the welcome we are offering to visitors, conference delegates and organisers across the world; to bring their business into Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire.”
Carol Benzie said the route will make it easier for those travelling through Aberdeen International Airport.  She said:
“The most exciting thing about the AWPR is the fact that staff and passengers from the south of the city will be able to get to the airport very easily without having to sit in congestion in the city centre. They can bypass all of that and be here almost half an hour quicker than they did previously.
“This is one of the top infrastructure projects currently underway in the UK and it really puts Aberdeen on the map. We have so many assets to show off and this road will make it easier for people to fly into Aberdeen and see some of the most beautiful sights in the world.”
Following extensive upgrades to the airport’s retail and security search facilities as part of a multi-million-pound Terminal Transformation project, there’s hope the AWPR project could lead to more routes for passengers.
Michael Matheson, Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity, said:
“I warmly welcome the support of Visit Aberdeenshire and Aberdeen Airport for the GoNorthEast campaign. Infrastructure is vital to growing the economy but when a project of the sheer scale of the AWPR is built and comes online, it also connects existing infrastructure together and to businesses and exponential benefits are realised.
“I’m pleased that in my first few weeks in this role people are using the newly opened Parkhill to Goval section and starting to experience some of these benefits as early as possible. But naturally I share the region’s – and Scotland’s – anticipation and enthusiasm for when the full scheme opens by the late autumn.”
Carol added: “If we can evidence to airlines that the AWPR is allowing more people to come to this airport, rather than travel to other airports, because of ease of access, then it will definitely strengthen the business case for new airlines to operate here.”
Aberdeen City Council Co-Leader Councillor Jenny Laing said
" I welcome the support of Visit Aberdeenshire and Aberdeen International Airport for the GoNorthEast campaign. Aberdeen City Council has invested over £75m in the new AWPR and we remain committed to investing in other major infrastructure projects around the airport and beyond in order to ensure Aberdeen remains a go to destination for both residents of the north-east and tourists.”
Leader of Aberdeenshire Council Cllr Jim Gifford said: “I am pleased to see the support being shown by VisitAberdeenshire and Aberdeen International Airport for the campaign. 
“These are great examples of how the completed route will benefit major organisations in the area, making it easier for people to access services and get from A to B. The north-east of Scotland is already a desirable destination for a range of travellers, and the improved connectivity brought by the AWPR/B-T can only help to boost visitor numbers.”