Fresh data unveiled by Springboard, a footfall monitoring organisation, signals a significant uptick in visitor numbers to Aberdeen city centre, marking a promising outlook for the region’s economic resurgence. As per the North East Bus Allowance, nearly 20 million visits were tallied in Aberdeen city centre over the past year, with around 1.9 million attributed to Christmas shoppers alone.
In comparison to the previous year, these figures reveal a noteworthy surge, with footfall escalating by over 12% in 2023. This surge is particularly evident during the festive period, with the timeframe from November 26 to December 30 witnessing a notable influx of visitors. During this period, a total of 1,873,928 individuals were recorded traversing the city centre, indicating a marked increase from the previous month’s figures of 1,507,056.
Among the standout statistics, Saturday, December 16 emerged as the busiest day, with a staggering 91,954 visitors flocking to the city centre’s shops and the renowned Christmas Village. This surge in footfall surpasses the previous month’s peak, recorded on Saturday, November 25, coinciding with the Black Friday shopping extravaganza, where 81,107 visitors were tallied.
The Chief Executive of Aberdeen Inspired expressed enthusiasm at the news, hailing the increase in footfall as a significant boon for local businesses and attractions. He remarked, “It is more than welcome news that almost 1.9 million people chose to visit Aberdeen city centre over the festive period – a 12% increase on the year before.”
Highlighting the city’s resilience and allure, he emphasized the importance of promoting Aberdeen as a vibrant hub for commerce and leisure activities. He iterated, “This demonstrates beyond doubt Aberdeen city centre is very much open for business – a message that cannot be repeated often enough or loudly enough.”
Further insights were provided by the Chair of the North East Bus Alliance, who underscored the positive implications of the increased footfall. He asserted, “It’s encouraging that the latest figures show that nearly 1.9 million people, including many Christmas shoppers, visited the city centre in the last week of November and throughout December, up from 1.5 million in October into November.”
Addressing concerns regarding transportation infrastructure, particularly the contentious city bus gates, he defended the measures as essential for managing traffic flow and promoting sustainable transport options. He stated, “The bus priority measures are an essential part of the bigger picture in terms of public transport.”
He further emphasized the role of reliable and eco-friendly transportation in fostering a conducive environment for businesses and residents alike, echoing sentiments of a brighter future for Aberdeen’s city centre.
Despite the challenges posed by the ongoing pandemic, the surge in footfall offers a glimmer of hope for Aberdeen’s economic recovery. As the city continues to navigate through uncertain times, the resilience demonstrated by its bustling city centre serves as a testament to Aberdeen’s enduring spirit and unwavering appeal. With concerted efforts to enhance infrastructure and promote sustainable growth, Aberdeen stands poised to reclaim its status as a thriving economic and cultural hub in the region.
In conclusion, the surge in footfall observed in Aberdeen city centre underscores a positive trajectory for the region’s recovery efforts. As businesses and authorities collaborate to navigate through challenges and capitalize on opportunities, Aberdeen’s resilience shines through, signalling a promising future for the city and its residents.