This has been a difficult year and Aberdeenshire has suffered as much as most areas. We hope the city, county and nation will see a better 2021 and there is reason for cautious optimism. Sadly, we look set to close out 2020 in a higher tier and the first few months of 2021 look set to remain very challenging, but the vaccination programme should finally start to see some restrictions lifted for good later in the year.
The Future of Hospitality
There will be changes to the way parts of public life work. On the surface, Hospitality may look and feel more like it did back in 2019 for the businesses that have been able to survive. The effort and investment they have made in order to operate during 2020 will mean they have the knowledge and infrastructure to be resilient if we ever face lockdown restrictions in the future.
At Apartrooms we count our blessings that our low contact accommodation has proved to be a relatively virus secure environment. As we’ve said before, it is not what we planned for. Our building is all about sustainability; aligning with the city’s environmental ambitions while supporting the longer stay commercial business traveller with comfort, space and functionality. The biggest change we made to our operations was the intensified cleaning regime that our guests found reassuring. This could be an operational change that we keep on a permanent basis.
In 2020 we have welcomed guests from Financial Services and a range of infrastructure and energy projects, on and off-shore. We have also had families, golfers, cyclists and hikers. Tourists help us remember how beautiful Aberdeenshire can be, with its rugged coastline, a selection of castles – including Dunnottar down the road from us – and at least eight distilleries last time we checked.
The city itself is a genuine attraction. It has museums and the art gallery and you could say that Aberdeen’s granite architecture, with the sparklingly renovated Marischal College as its highlight, is an exhibition in its own right. There are Hazelwood Park and Johnstone Gardens amongst a plethora of green spaces, His Majesty’s Theatre, a burgeoning foodie scene focusing on seasonal local produce, and famous whisky bars like The Grill. Forget tourists, we want to get back out there ourselves!
We have talked before about Aberdeen’s circular economy and developments in the North Sea. Work on our floating wind farm will pick back up in 2021. Ethical decommissioning, carbon capture and green hydrogen production will all become more familiar concepts for the area with plenty more net-zero emission initiatives appearing downtown. As we look to the future, we are building on strong foundations with one of the country’s oldest universities and an award-winning business school that support energy management and environmental stewardship across a range of disciplines.
Happy New Year
Despite the challenges we still face. Aberdeen is an excellent place to live, work and study as a resident or on a more temporary basis. It has a colourful past and a bright future. We would like to wish a happy Christmas and a healthy, prosperous New Year to our guests, suppliers, and everyone else in the region. We look forward to sharing a happier 2021 with you.