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A natural high in Shetland

Press Release   •   Nov 20, 2017 11:46 GMT

VisitScotland Chief Executive Malcolm Roughead (centre) is pictured during his Listening Tour in Shetland

VisitScotland Chief Executive Malcolm Roughead presented accolades to winners of the Shetland Environmental Awards during his latest Listening Tour.

This was the ninth in this year’s Listening Tour series, and took the form of an informal discussion over a buffet lunch of Shetland produce, with Mr Roughead meeting leading industry representatives, business owners, councillors and officials to identify opportunities to develop Shetland’s key assets into outstanding visitor experiences.

Building on the successes of similar events held over the previous two years, this series of Listening Tour meetings gives tourism organisations and businesses the opportunity to speak directly to Mr Roughead.

Before the tourism meeting, Mr Roughead attended the Shetland Environmental Awards at the New Shetland Museum and Archives in Lerwick where he presented winners with their awards.

Now in its 29th year, the awards recognise projects which have contributed to Shetland’s rich and diverse environment whilst demonstrating sustainability, innovation and best practice.

A ‘Best of Shetland’ buffet was then held at Hay’s Dock Restaurant, within the New Shetland Museum and Archives, for 18 invited guests. Attendees included Marian Armitage and Jill Franklin, of Shetland Food & Drink Ltd; Stuart Nickerson and Mark Turnbull, of Shetland Distillery; Steve Henry, of Shetland Self Catering; James Tait, of Shetland Tourism Association; Douglas Irvine of SIC Economic Development and David Nicol of NB Communications, the new Promote Shetland contract holders.

They were served the very best in fresh, local produce, including Shetland smoked salmon, Shetland salt beef and Shetland Farm Dairies’ lemon posset.

Malcolm Roughead, VisitScotland Chief Executive, said: “Today has been a fantastic opportunity for me to meet with industry representatives, business owners, local councillors and officials to hear about the successes and challenges around tourism and how we can work together to make Shetland a sustainable total quality destination.

“I was also delighted to be asked to present the awards here today. Shetland is such a beautiful place and a large part of its attraction to visitors is its wildlife, nature and scenery. However, it is important to make sure this is sustainable and that best practice is shared.

“VisitScotland works closely with communities and businesses to showcase the rich assets, hidden gems and local stories of every region in Scotland. Tourism is more than a holiday experience – it is integral to sustaining communities across Scotland by generating income and creating jobs.”

Notes to Editors

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  • VisitScotland is Scotland’s national tourism organisation. Its core purpose is to maximise the economic benefit of tourism to Scotland.
  • The organisation’s core objective is to contribute to the Tourism 2020 Strategy ambition of growing tourism revenues by £1 billion by 2020.
  • This will be supported by seven overarching strategies:
    1. Marketing: we will market Scotland and its outstanding assets to visitors from all parts of the world, including the promotion of Scotland to people living in Scotland to visit different parts of the country
    2. Events: we will support the national events strategy and its delivery, and sustain, develop and promote Scotland’s international profile as one of the world’s foremost events destinations
    3. Internationalisation and International Engagement: we will utilise all our platforms to enable Scottish-based tourism businesses to better understand international opportunities and market to a global audience and we will work within One Scotland Partnerships to optimise the potential of Scotland’s Diaspora and our strategic partners at regional, European and global levels
    4. Customer Experience: we will provide information and inspiration to visitors both locally and globally via their preferred medium of choice
    5. Quality and Sustainability: we will provide support and advice to businesses, with the goal of improving the quality and sustainability of the tourism sector in Scotland. We will provide quality assurance to visitors through our Quality Schemes
    6. Inclusive Tourism: we will strive to make tourism in Scotland inclusive and available to all
    7. Working in Partnership: we will listen to and work with the industry, partners and communities to shape our offering and support
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  • VisitScotland works together with tourism businesses to make tourism a success for everyone and ensure the industry continues to grow.
  • The organisation employs 700 people and has offices and VisitScotland Information Centres across Scotland.
  • Spending by tourists in Scotland generates around £12 billion of economic activity in the wider Scottish supply chain and contributes around £6 billion to Scottish GDP (in basic prices). This represents about 5% of total Scottish GDP
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  • 2017 Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology
  • 2017 is the year to delve into the past and discover Scotland’s fascinating stories through a wide-ranging variety of new and existing activity to drive the nation’s tourism and events sector, boosting tourism across Scotland.
  • The Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology begins on 1 January 2017 and will end on 31 December 2017. It will build on the momentum generated by previous themed years in Scotland including the 2015 Year of Food and Drink, Homecoming Scotland 2014, the Year of Creative and the Year of Natural.
  • The Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology is a Scottish Government initiative being led by VisitScotland, and supported by a variety of partners including Creative Scotland, Scottish Tourism Alliance, Scottish Enterprise, The National Trust for Scotland, Historic Environment Scotland, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Built Environment Forum Scotland, Heritage Lottery Fund, Museums Galleries Scotland and Traditional Arts and Culture Scotland.
  • The Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology is supported by £570,000 of Scottish Government funding.
  • The Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology events fund is managed by EventScotland, part of VisitScotland’s Events Directorate.
  • For more information visit or join the conversation at #HHA2017