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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

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

Notes to Editors

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