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Visit Scotland | Alba
Article published 27/10/2021

We launched a new feature last year so that you can get to know our team a little better! We’re asking members of staff from across VisitScotland to tell us a bit about themselves and their roles, as well as some of their favourite places to visit in our beautiful country. In the next of the series hear from Victoria Harvey, our new Development Manager for the Outer Hebrides.

Tell us a bit about yourself...

"Hello everyone, my name is Victoria and I'm the Development Manager for the Outer Hebrides, a role which I started in August of this year. Previous to this role I could be found at the Calanais Visitor Centre which served the iconic Calanais Standing Stones in the Isle of Lewis, initially developing their expansion project and latterly I led the team in the visitor centre providing a warm welcome to visitors from all over the world.
 

Victoria Harvey


"I got my start in tourism working at the VisitScotland iCentre in Falkirk whilst I was studying for my history degree and so to be back in the organisation around a decade later is very exciting! Since then I have done a bit of everything from selling holidays across Scotland to developing the food and drink trail for the Outer Hebrides to working in heritage tourism. I really love the industry I am in and feel lucky to have had so many varied roles.

"Whilst I originally hail from Cumbernauld, I've lived in Lewis for around six years now and big walks, big road trips and big views tend to be my favourite thing. I love living by the sea and am an amateur sea swimmer – I believe you would call what I do bobbing about in the Atlantic – and I’m also part of my local coastal rowing club. Outside of that, give me a good wander around a heritage or archaeological site and it will keep me entertained for a while, there’s just so much to explore!"

What is your role at VisitScotland and what are your main responsibilities?

"My role involves working with stakeholders and partners across the island chain to find better ways to build the visitor economy. My role brings the breadth of VisitScotland expertise to the islands to provide on-the-ground support to partners and build on the amazing work already happening here.

"Influencing and promoting collaboration across the Outer Hebrides is essential whilst we prioritise responsible tourism, capacity building and making tourism work for both visitors and the people who live here. As we recover from the pandemic exploring ways to extend the season, work with communities and make our island economy more resilient."

We’re so glad that we can travel around Scotland again. Do you have a favourite place that you can’t wait to go back to or where have you explored in Scotland this summer?

"As with so many in seasonal dependent roles, much of my summer has been working flat out and unfortunately not getting out and about to see much (I also moved house!). Thank goodness I live in one of the most beautiful parts of the world with endless daylight in the summer months. Well placed to enjoy everything that Lewis and Harris have to offer, especially late evening beach meet ups, a quick dip in the sea and lots of hot chocolate and biscuits for later!

"Living in a fairly flat and tree-less landscape, I crave forests and big hills after a while so I'm definitely looking forward to getting back home to the central belt, enjoying the buzz of Glasgow and exploring old scenic haunts in Perthshire and the Trossachs."

What’s on your Scotland bucket list? 

"It has to be Shetland and Orkney! Stacks of history, wildlife and geology with lots of wee ferry journeys to keep exploring. To avoid it sounding like a busman’s holiday, I am so intrigued between the contrasts between Orkney, Shetland and the Outer Hebrides and need to see them for myself. I’ll hopefully be heading your way in 2022!"
 

Victoria Harvey

In Gaelic...

Innis dhuinn rud beag mu do dhèidhinn…

"Halò  a h-uile duine, is mise Victoria agus tha mi nam Mhanaidsear Leasachaidh airson nan Eileanan Siar. Thòisich mi san obair san Lùnastal am-bliadhna. Roimhe sin, bha mi stèidhichte ann an Ionad Luchd-tadhail Chalanais, aig Tursachan suaicheanta Chalanais ann an Leòdhas. An toiseach, bha mi ag obair air a’ phròiseact leudachaidh agus an uair sin, bha mi nam cheannard air an sgioba san ionad luchd-tadhail, a’ toirt fàilte chridheil do luchd-tadhail bho air feadh an t-saoghail. Thòisich mi air obrachadh ann an turasachd nuair a bha mi ag obair anns an iCentre san Eaglais Bhric fhad ’s a bha mi a’ dèanamh ceum ann an eachdraidh agus mar sin, tha e fìor mhath a bhith air ais sa bhuidhinn às dèidh deich bliadhna! Bhon uair sin tha mi air beagan den a h-uile rud a dhèanamh bho bhith a’ reic saor-làithean air feadh na h-Alba gu bhith a’ cruthachadh na slighe bìdh is dibhe airson Innse Gall gu bhith ag obair ann an turasachd dualchais. Is fìor thoil leam an gnìomhachas anns a bheil mi agus tha mi a’ faireachdainn fortanach gun robh an uiread de dhleastanasan eadar-dhealaichte agam.

"Ged is ann a Comar nan Allt a tha mi bho thùs, tha mi air a bhith a’ fuireach ann an Leòdhas fad mu 6 bliadhna a-nis agus is e cuairtean mòra, tursan rathaid mòra agus seallaidhean mòra na rudan as fheàrr leam. Is toil leam a bhith a’ fuireach ri taobh na mara agus bidh mi a’ snàmh sa mhuir mar chur-seachad - chanainn a’ bogadaich sa Chuan Siar ris - agus tha mi nam bhall den chlub iomraidh ionadail agam cuideachd. Taobh a-muigh sin, tha e a’ còrdadh rium gu mòr a bhith a’ tadhal air làrach dualchais no arc-eòlais agus cumaidh e trang mi fad greis - tha an uiread ri fhaicinn!"

Dè an dreuchd a th’ agad air VisitScotland agus dè na prìomh dhleastanasan agad?

"Tha an obair agam a’ gabhail a-steach a bhith ag obair le luchd-ùidh is com-pàirtichean air feadh nan Eilean Siar gus dòighean nas fheàrr fhaighinn gus eaconomaidh an luchd-tadhail a thogail. Tha an dreuchd agam a’ toirt farsaingeachd eòlas VisitScotland do na h-eileanan gus taic a thoirt do chom-pàirtichean san sgìre agus gus togail air an obair iongantach a tha a’ dol air adhart an seo mar-thà.

"Tha e ro-chudromach a bhith a’ toirt buaidh air agus a’ brosnachadh co-obrachadh air feadh Innse Gall fhad ’s a tha sinn a’ toirt prìomhachas do thurasachd cunntachail, a’ togail comas agus a’ dèanamh cinnteach gum bi turasachd ag obair an dà chuid do luchd-tadhail agus do mhuinntir an àite. Agus sinn ag ath-shlànachadh bhon ghalar lèir-sgaoilte, tha sinn a’ coimhead air dòighean gus an seusan a leudachadh, ag obair le coimhearsnachdan gus eaconamaidh nan eilean againn a dhèanamh nas seasmhaiche."

Tha sinn cho toilichte gun urrainn dhuinn siubhal air feadh na h-Alba a-rithist. A bheil àite as fheàrr leat ann an Alba a tha thu a’ dèanamh fiughair ri fhaicinn a-rithist no a bheil àite sònraichte anns an robh thu as t-samhradh?

"Coltach ri tòrr dhaoine eile ann an dreuchdan a tha an eisimeil an t-seusain turasachd, bha mi ag obair gu cruaidh air feadh an t-samhraidh agus cha robh cothrom gu leòr agam a dhol a-mach gus mòran a dhèanamh (rinn mi imrich gu taigh ùr cuideachd!). Taing do shealbh gu bheil mi a’ fuireach ann an tè de na ceàrnaidhean as brèagha den t-saoghal anns a bheil pailteas solas an latha ann am mìosan an t-samhradh Tha mi ann an deagh àite airson brath a ghabhail air a h-uile càil a tha aig Leòdhas agus na Hearadh ri thabhann, gu h-àraidh a bhith a’ coinneachadh ri daoine air an tràigh anmoch air an oidhche, a bhith a’ snàmh sa mhuir agus tòrr teoclaid teth agus bhriosgaidean às dèidh làimh!

"A’ fuireach ann an cruth-tìre gu math còmhnard agus gun chraobhan, bidh mi ag ionndrainn choilltean agus beanntan às dèidh greis agus mar sin tha mi a dèanamh fiughair ri bhith a’ tilleadh dhachaigh gu meadhan na h-Alba, gu othail Ghlaschu agus a’ dol do na seallaidhean as fheàrr leam bho m’ òigridh ann an Siorrachd Pheairt agus na Tròisichean."

Dè tha air liosta-bhucaid na h-Alba agad? 

"Arcaibh is Sealtainn gu cinnteach! Tòrr mòr eachdraidh, fiadh-bheatha agus geòlas le gu leòr tursan aiseig gus barrachd fhaicinn. Tha ùidh mhòr agam sna na h-eadar-dhealachaidhean eadar Arcaibh, Sealtainn agus Innse Gall agus feumaidh mi am faicinn dhomh fhìn. Tha mi an dòchas gum bi mi a’ tighinn gur n-ionnsaigh ann an 2022!"