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Development Manager has sustainable tourism growth in her sights

Press Release   •   Aug 13, 2018 12:25 BST

Cheryl Chapman is VisitScotland’s new Development Manager for Orkney.

A desire to work with stakeholders and partners to grow sustainable tourism and the visitor economy is amongst the aims of VisitScotland’s new Development Manager for Orkney.

Cheryl Chapman is based in the national tourism organisation’s Kirkwall local office. She first visited Orkney in 2011 with her husband and was captivated by the raw beauty and wildlife of the Northern Isles. After several further visits, the couple moved to South Ronaldsay in 2016, with Cheryl commuting to London in her previous role.

Her new appointment will see Cheryl working collaboratively with organisations including Orkney Islands Council, Destination Orkney (formerly the Orkney Tourism Group) and other stakeholders to maximise the visitor economy and build on the successful development of tourism in Orkney.

Cheryl said: "Like so many visitors who arrive on the shores of these beautiful islands, I was blown away – almost literally on some days – by the stunning scenery, the pace of life, the people and the opportunity to experience nature close up.

So I feel particularly privileged that as part of VisitScotland, I can share Orkney's magic with the rest of the world.

"It is an exciting time to be involved in tourism development in Orkney, particularly with the International Island Games arriving in 2023 and before that, Scotland’s Year of Coasts and Waters in 2020, which will lend itself perfectly to our rich marine and assets here in Orkney.

“Looking to this year, we’ve got the fifth Orkney Rock Festival and also Orkney International Science Festival – both in September - and Orkney Storytelling Festival in October, celebrating the tales focusing on the history and heritage of the islands.”

Cheryl has a background in journalism, PR and communications, having worked in newspapers and business publishing for many years. She has also worked in the charitable giving and philanthropy sector.

She added:I look forward to working in partnership with local stakeholders to help grow the visitor economy in a sustainable way that will bring benefits to communities and visitors.

"Orkney is blessed with so many attributes and world class assets, and visitor figures show that not only are more people visiting to see them, but that one visit is not enough.

“Our 2017 Island Visitor Survey, undertaken in conjunction with Orkney Islands Council, showed that 62% of leisure visitors provided a score of eight or more out of 10 for intention to revisit in the next five years.

"The development of the visitor economy is an exciting prospect for the prosperity of the islands. We know that tourism translates to jobs and it is a major contributor to local economies.

"The same 2017 survey showed that visitors spent almost £50m here in Orkney in that year- and that excludes the 113,000 visitors that arrived by cruise liner.

"Tourism continues to grow and through working in partnership, my aim is to help build a quality product and visitor experience and find creative, sustainable solutions to some of the challenges we face as a destination growing in popularity, such as visitor management.”

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 five overarching strategies: Marketing, Events, Quality and Sustainability, Inclusive Tourism, International Engagement.
  • 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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2018 Year of Young People

  • The Year of Young People (YoYP 2018) will inspire Scotland through its young people aged 8 to 26, celebrating their achievements, valuing their contributions to communities and creating new opportunities for them to shine locally, nationally and globally
  • Central to YoYP 2018 will be a celebratory events programme that puts young people at the heart of its development and delivery, creating new and valuable experiences for young Scots and the wider public, with links to the inaugural 2018 European Championships.
  • Over 200 young people throughout Scotland are currently being recruited to become YoYP 2018 Ambassadors. Ambassadors will ensure that people and organisations in their communities know about what’s happening and will lead on projects and activities to create events and opportunities to celebrate young people.
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  • Further information on what’s happening and how people can get involved can be found on the new website or @YOYP2018 on Twitter.