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Explore Nuart Aberdeen / Create your own tour

Tucked away on one of the Granite City’s most historic streets is a gateway to help you discover the whole, wide world.

Kuoni Aberdeen on Back Wynd is dedicated to giving the people of Aberdeen the holidays they want and deserve, from luxury trips in exotic climes to weekend city breaks, said store manager Chris Winpenny-Cushine.

We caught up with Chris for a chat about the exciting things in store for Kuoni. He tells us why the firm loves being in the heart of the city and shares some exciting plans for the next few months.

Tell us about Kuoni Aberdeen

Kuoni is a premium travel agency, obviously, we have our own brand of holidays, which is the Kuoni brand, but we also have our other handpicked partners and sister companies we can book through. They range from villa holidays to escorted touring.

We have now branched out so we can offer up to 100 other key suppliers we can work with, so the likes of offering a Jet2 or Tui holiday if a customer needs it. We can now also do flight-only bookings.

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World at his fingertips: Chris Winpenny-Cushine is store manager of Kuoni Aberdeen on Back Wynd. Image - Aberdeen Inspired.

We want to make our store more part of the local community and make sure we can offer everything our customers need. Someone might want to come in and go to the Maldives for their honeymoon, or they may also want to a ‘mini-moon’ city break and we felt there was a gap in the market for ourselves.

Kuoni started off in Aberdeen about 11 years ago, in the John Lewis building, so our brand has been established within the city. So it’s been good to have the brand back other and be back open at our new home on Back Wynd.

What do you like about being based in the city centre?

We are in a good location. Back Wynd is a beautiful, historic-looking street and it has great footfall both from the Schoolhill side and the Union Street side. It’s a real thoroughfare so you do find a lot of footfall either heading into Bon Accord or having been to Union Square.

Having a standalone store where we can offer dedicated opening hours gives us flexibility. Having our own space also means we can hold events within the store as well, so we have started doing showcases with suppliers. It really is great having this location in the city centre.

What are the benefits for Kuoni of being an Aberdeen Inspired levy payer?

It’s the whole networking side of it. Joining the BID as a levy payer gives us an opportunity to showcase our brand to other levy payers as well. It is also having that network from Aberdeen Inspired, being able to put our opinions across on things the council may be trying to implement. It’s good to have a voice that can speak for us.

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Warm welcome: Chris says Kuoni Aberdeen wants to offer customers everything they need for the perfect break. Image - Aberdeen Inspired.

We have also just signed up to the Aberdeen Gift Card (which Aberdeen Inspired introduced) so customers can use it towards a deposit for one of their holidays if they want.

Being part of Aberdeen Inspired is a win-win situation for us.

What are your plans for the next 12 months?

We are going to grow the business further and we are starting to market the store a lot more locally. We have just signed a deal with His Majesty’s Theatre to feature an advert on their safety curtain.

We will also be working with some local charities. Last year we did a huge work with Cash For Kids, so we are looking to expand on that.

We will also be doing more showcases. We recently had a cruise ship showcase, showing customers they can come in and book a cruise, some of which could be out of Scotland, some could be taken in Scotland as well.

What advice would you give to new businesses looking to set up in the city centre?

It is still a wealthy city and although we have had the downturn and Union Street has a lot of empty units, there are still people looking to shop locally and they’re looking to come onto the High Street.

It’s not a dying trend anymore, we have had lots of new shops opening – such as Rolex.

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Back Wynd is a great spot for Kuoni Aberdeen's store, says Chris. Image - Aberdeen Inspired

There is an incentive scheme for empty units on Union Street and that’s a great thing to look at if you want to grow your business, get your name out there and have that sort of presence on the high street.

What would be the biggest improvement to the city centre in your opinion?

I think the whole regeneration work on Union Street, including the new Aberdeen Market, will help attract more people. Union Terrace Gardens has helped attract more people into the city as well.

Getting the city back to where it was pre-Covid, getting shops opened, getting people back on to the high street is what we are looking for.

When you’re not working where is your favourite place or thing to do in Aberdeen?

I like walking down the beach with the dogs. It’s such a beautiful space we’ve got. There are also a lot of nice independent restaurants and things down there and a lot of dog-friendly places. So, I like getting out and about and keeping the money within the local community.

You can find out more about Kuoni Aberdeen here

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Grab a seat: Kuoni Aberdeen offers a warm - and comfortable welcome. Image - Aberdeen Inspired.