Council budget cuts could lead to fewer people visiting the north-east, a regional tourism chief has warned.
Visit Aberdeenshire could lose £60,000 of funding it receives from Aberdeen City Council – around 23% – if the proposals are approved.
The reduction could come just a year after the organisation’s funding from the local authority was slashed by 50%.
Visit Aberdeenshire chief executive Chris Foy admitted it would have to “scale back its promotion of Aberdeen” to those visiting the city.
And he warned reduced funding could have a knock-on effect on thousands of jobs in the tourism industry.
Mr Foy said: “If (the reduction is) ratified, Visit Aberdeenshire will further scale back its promotion of Aberdeen.
“This represents a lost opportunity at a time when the city is on the cusp of tourism renaissance, while many of its accommodation providers continue to struggle to fill rooms.
“In practical terms this will mean significantly less targeted advertising and publicity to promote the city and its headline attractions.
“Such activity has returned up to £8 in visitor spend for every £1 spent by Visit Aberdeenshire and levered valuable private-sector support.”
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Mr Foy claimed maintaining the organisation’s current budget could benefit the local economy and called on councillors to vote against the proposals at next week’s meeting.
He added: “Maintaining current levels of funding could contribute an extra £1-2 million per year of visitor spend in the city towards the regional target of £1 billion per annum by 2023.
“While Aberdeen attracted £505m in visitor spend in 2018, this is still over £60m below the level of spend in 2013.
“It is estimated that 9,000 jobs are supported by the tourism sector in Aberdeen.
“While fully appreciating the pressures on Aberdeen City Council’s budget, Visit Aberdeenshire encourages council members to reverse this proposal and retain funding at 2019 levels while Visit Aberdeenshire works with partners across the public and private sectors to secure a sustainable future for promotion of the city.”
Both the city and Aberdeenshire Council provide funding to the tourism body.
Sport Aberdeen could also be in line for a funding reduction with a cut of around £500,000 proposed by council officers.
Chairman Tony Dawson said: “We are fully aware that public finances are under increasing pressure, inevitably that will impact all services including sport and leisure which Sport Aberdeen provides for the city.
“We have a strong working partnership with Aberdeen City Council and after the budget is set we will work together to manage as best we can.”
Aberdeen City Council co-leader Douglas Lumsden said councillors would have to make “difficult decisions”, and urged Mr Foy to contact the Scottish Government’s finance secretary with his concerns.
He said: “At this time it is just options which have been put forward by officers and councillors will have to make difficult decisions next week.
“We would encourage Mr Foy to write to Kate Forbes MSP setting out the dangers of what can happen when local authorities are underfunded.”