Digital training boosts Aberdeenshire B&B bookings

John Andrea, director of Leslie Castle, has seen a surge in bookings thanks to DigitalBoost.
John Andrea, director of Leslie Castle, has seen a surge in bookings thanks to DigitalBoost.

An Aberdeenshire-based bed and breakfast has seen a boost in website bookings following free advice and support from DigitalBoost – Scotland’s national digital business skills training programme delivered by Business Gateway.

Opened in 2018 by John Andrea, Leslie Castle is a restored 14th century castle near Auchleven.

Nominated in the Most Hospitable B&B/Guest House category for the 2019/2020 Scottish Thistle Awards, Leslie Castle provides guests with a uniquely immersive experience hosted by the current Baron of Leslie, including personal guided tours of the historic site and a wealth of information on Scottish culture and history.

Guests can also arrange evening meals in the grand Baronial Hall, perfect for special occasions.

Despite the B&B’s long history, owner John found himself struggling with his digital presence. The business’s website did not appear on the first three pages of Google due to competition with another hotel with connections to Clan Leslie.

Therefore, John approached Business Gateway to boost his digital presence and master search engine optimisation (SEO) requirements.

Business Gateway’s free DigitalBoost training scheme helped Leslie Castle to develop a brand-new digital strategy.

This included the development of a new website and blog, an overhaul of the B&B’s SEO strategy and expert digital marketing advice for Facebook and Instagram.

With the new strategy in place, and the website taking the top spot on Google, Leslie Castle has recently witnessed a surge in direct bookings. Additionally, both website and social media traffic have increased substantially.

Business Gateway also provided Leslie Castle with one-to-one expert advice about tourism, free workshops on every aspect of running a business and an introduction to Resource Efficient Scotland for potential funding to upgrade the castle’s heating system.

Mr Andrea said: “DigitalBoost has been instrumental in raising our profile and generating more business via our website”.

Kirstie McLaughlin, business adviser at Business Gateway said: “DigitalBoost was able to provide John with the strategy and tools he needed to transform his online presence and make digital work to his advantage.”

For more information on DigitalBoostplease visit visit