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Visit Scotland | Alba
Article published 24/07/2020

A film with the clear aim of allowing local businesses, residents and visitors to enjoy the best of Orkney as travel restrictions ease is helping the island move on successfully from the Covid-19 crisis.

‘A message from Orkney’ was issued earlier this month as people prepared to travel once again as lockdown restrictions eased.

The film, which was developed by the Promoting Orkney team, in collaboration with local businesses across the islands, has the clear message at its heart;  ‘If we work together, hopefully you will see the best of Orkney and Orkney will see the best of you.”

The film takes the opportunity to ask visitors to:

  • Plan ahead and book travel and accommodation in advance
  • Adhere to social distancing and guidance around the use of face coverings and washing of hands
  • Not to travel if feeling unwell
  • Support local businesses and shops

Isla Holloway, Customer Service Manager, Pier Arts Centre, Stromness Credit: Orkney.com

As soon as the Scottish Government announced a proposed date for the reopening of tourism, our thoughts turned to what Orkney’s message should be. We knew that there would be a lot of interest in travelling here, especially after such a lengthy ‘lockdown’ period, but as resident ourselves, we've been acutely aware of a degree of unease in the community here regarding the return of visitors.

Orkney has limited health resources and the islands worked really hard to limit the impact of COVID-19 over the last few months. The last thing anyone wants is for a cluster of cases to emerge. On the flip side, tourism is vitally important to the local economy, and it’s always such a pleasure seeing people from all over the world visit the islands year in, year out.

We decided that our message would be a positive one, but one making sure that we balanced promotion with community concerns. We wanted to avoid a direct ‘Orkney is open’ approach, but instead focus on safety, responsibility and the fact that when you visit us you become part of our community, which is the most important thing to us all.

Maureen Shearer, Project Manager at Highlands and Islands Enterprise

Since the film was launched on the Orkney.com website and social media channels, it has received more than 410,000 views, more than 3,300 shares on Facebook and 942 re-tweets on Twitter.

Promoting Orkney is a LEADER-funded project, led by Orkney Islands Council and Highlands and Islands Enterprise. It aims to benefit key local sectors of tourism, food & drink, creative industries and energy through increased digital presence, while also providing support to more traditional forms of marketing such as print and broadcast. The team works closely with ourselves and Destination Orkney in planning and promoting its tourism content. 

Keep the momentum going by sharing the film with potential visitors through your social channels.