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Optimistic outlook for Orkney

Press Release   •   Oct 01, 2018 11:14 BST

Cheryl Chapman, VisitScotland Development Manager for Orkney

More than three-quarters of businesses in Orkney who responded to a survey to capture tourism business performance reported that their visitor numbers and turnover were either up or similar to the same quarter last year.

The quarterly anonymous industry ‘barometer’ survey is carried out by VisitScotland in partnership with local councils and destination organisations. Tourism businesses participate in the survey to capture performance in their regions over the last quarter of the year as well as confidence going forward.

The survey results provide a snapshot of how tourism is performing, allowing business owners to make informed decisions about their business, identify opportunities for growth and gaps in the market and have evidence to support investment decisions.

The results showed that 25%* of the Orkney businesses who responded to the invitation said their visitor numbers were up compared to the same quarter last year. This compared to a national figure of 38%.

Just over half of respondents (53%) reported that their visitor numbers were similar, compared to the national figure of 35%; and 18% reported that theirs were down, compared to the national figure of 25%. 4% of businesses indicated they were closed during Q2 of 2018, compared to a national figure of 2%.

When asked how their turnover compared to the same quarter last year, more than three-quarters of respondents (77%) said it was either up or similar, compared to a national figure of 73%. A total of 20% said it was down, compared to the national figure of 25%. 4% of businesses indicated they were closed during that quarter, compared to the national figure of 2%.

More than a third (33%) of respondents said they were ‘very optimistic’ about the next three months, compared to 30% nationally. A total of 46% said they were ‘quite optimistic’, compared to a national figure of 39% and 15% said they were ‘neutral’, compared to a national figure of 21%. 4% of respondents were ‘not very optimistic’, compared to a total of 7% nationally and 2% were ‘not at all optimistic’, compared to 3% nationally.

Cheryl Chapman, VisitScotland Development Manager for Orkney, said: “The information contained in the recently launched quarterly barometer survey adds much-needed and very timely data to what we hear anecdotally about business performance and confidence.

“With this kind of granular information, businesses can get a real idea of how they are faring compared to others in Orkney and that will help them plan accordingly. If anyone wants advice on how to improve their digital offering or upgrade the quality of their product, then feel free to talk to us.

“I’d like to thank those who took part in the survey, as well as the organisations that helped us disseminate it, as Orkney had one of the highest number of responses per region of anywhere in the country. The more businesses who respond to the survey, the more robust the information will be. We encourage everybody to respond to the Q3 survey that opens in October.”

A total of 56 businesses in Orkney responded to the invitation and the national sample size was 1,171. The results can be found on www.visitscotland.org

*The figures have been rounded up/down to the nearest whole number.

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
  • For VisitScotland’s press releases go to http://www.visitscotland.org/media_centre.aspx, tourism statistics and frequently asked questions go to http://www.visitscotland.org/
  • Where possible, a Gaelic speaker will be made available for broadcast interviews on request (Far an tèid iarraidh, agus far am bheil sin nar comas, bruidhinnidh neach le Gàidhlig aig agallamh)
  • For holiday information on Scotland go to www.visitscotland.com
  • For information about business tourism in Scotland go to www.conventionscotland.com

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.
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