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Article published 06/07/2022

Find out about the recent activity to support tourism across Orkney from our teams across VisitScotland - and also from our partners. 

What's included in this update?

You'll hear more about the ways we've delivering regionally activity, to further support industry recovery following the pandemic. We've also covered an update from Orkney's Development Manager - Cheryl Chapman, featuring local activity, new marketing campaigns and PR activity, and much more.

Introduction from Cheryl Chapman, Orkney's Development Manager

Tourism is bouncing back, with forward bookings and spending strong across the sector. There's no doubt Orkney is buzzing and it's great to see and hear domestic and international visitors enjoying all that our beautiful isles offer. But we know businesses are facing real challenges in a difficult operating environment, with staff shortages and rising costs impacting the level of service.

We’re working hand in hand with partners and our tourism and events industry to rebuild this vital part of Orkney’s economy and providing the right support to lead the recovery along with key partners in the region. 

It's important to understand the current landscape and how visitors are responding, through initiatives such as the UK Sentiment Tracker. This research offers insight into how UK and Scottish residents are behaving when it comes to travel and shows that the rising costs of living, personal finances and the costs of fuel are affecting people’s habits.

There are uncertain times ahead. Even more important then that Orkney is kept front of mind to our potential visitors and VisitScotland marketing continues apace. Read on for more on our marketing in this update.

Orkney’s Find Your Story campaign, that was supported with £102,000 from the Scottish Government’s Destination and Sector Marketing distributed by VisitScotland is still running and with better than predicted engagement. The Year of Stories and our rich events calendar are also bringing thousands of visitors to our shores, as you can read below.

The impact of tourism spreads far beyond the industry itself - it benefits our economy, our community and our wellbeing, and we continue to provide the right support for businesses to make the most of the opportunity.

Keep in contact with the local VisitScotland team if you need support and advice and remember to keep the iCentre up to date with your opening hours and what you are offering visitors - we are always delighted to hear from you.

Scotland's Year of Stories 2022

This year, Scotland is celebrating the Year of Stories. This themed year spotlights, celebrates and promotes the wealth of stories inspired by, written, or created in Scotland. From icons of literature to local tales, the year aims to encourage locals and visitors to experience a diversity of voices, take part in events and explore the places, people and cultures connected to all forms of our stories, past and present.

There's lots of information available on to help to make the most of Scotland's Year of Stories 2022. Take a look at our promotional film, industry toolkit, insights papers, funding announcements and more.

As part of our recent activity, we featured Destination Orkney and HIE Orkney in an article focused on destination management organisations (DMO's) across Scotland who have embraced the Year of Stories so far in 2022. Find out more.

The feature includes the new destination film, the key strands which focus their content - and an announcement of the return of the Orkney Storytelling Festival in October 2022. 

Find out more, and watch the hero film (which is a great resource to share on your social channels with future visitors to Orkney!)

Discover Orkney's Stories

Scotland's Year of Stories Community Events Fund

In the first half of the year, a number of events supported through Rounds 1 and 2 of our  Community Stories Fund including:

  • Launch of the George MacKay Brown Trail in Stromness to celebrate the centenary of Orkney poet, George MacKay Brown, whose subject was Orkney, its people, its legends and history
  • Sanday Stories - a celebration of Sanday's folklore which Sanday Stories consists of three events which are due to take place to celebrate the 19th century local folklorist Walter Traill Dennison
  • Orkney, Scotland and Norway: Stories in music and verse which will spotlight and celebrate the deep ties between Orkney, Scotland and Norway through both music and poetry bringing together musicians and poets to explore the life of one of Orkney’s most celebrated storytellers: Rognvaldr Kali Kolsson, Earl of Orkney from 1137-58
  • Untold Orcadian Stories - Filming stories from Orcadians past and present who have contributed to the islands which will be shown in Kirkwall cinema at the end of 2022. 



Discover Scotland: Reconnect 2022

In April, Scottish tourism businesses joined us for Discover Scotland: Reconnect 2022 to engage with tour operators, travel advisors and Destination Management Companies representing key global markets, to drive bookings from international visitors once again. 

The event, which is part of our activity to rebuild international tourism demand and support the country's ambition to be a leading destination for responsible tourism, saw over 324 Scottish businesses engaged with 298 international tour operators and travel agents from 21 global markets.

Exhibitors from Orkney include Destination Orkney, Orkney Distilling Limited, Pentland Ferries, Northlink Ferries and – attending for the first time – Kirkwall Hotel. 

If you're interested in joining us at next year’s event, make sure you are signed up to our Tourism Insider newsletter.

Scotland Is Calling

Orkney Marketing Activity

Scotland Is Calling

In March 2022, we launched phase two of our £8.5 million global marketing campaign – Scotland is Calling. This brand-new phase has been designed to support the recovery of Scotland’s tourism industry in a responsible way and as quickly as possible. Our phase two campaign focuses on emotional drivers, and seeks to encourage younger audiences (who are currently driving the return to post-COVID travel) to explore Scotland through stories which touch the hearts and minds of visitors.
As part of phase two, Orkney was featured in NewsUK Times article and a partnership with The Stylist magazine, which included the Ring of Brodgar.  

Loganair Partnership

LoganAir VisitScotland promotional landing page on VisitScotland.comWe ran a £10,000 marketing campaign in partnership with Loganair to promote the islands and encourage bookings for spring. The activity ran from March - April across digital channels, including paid social media, to inspiring future visitors. We created a dedicated video and website landing page and dedicated video content encouraging them to make a booking via our Loganair offer. The campaign delivered 2.7m million impressions and 420,000 video views.


Spirit of the Highlands and Islands

In June, we announced that we're part of a new partnership campaign which focuses on promoting the outstanding natural and cultural beauty of the Highlands and Islands.  in a responsible way which conserves and protects these areas. 

Working with High Life Highland, responsible tourism is at the heart of this campaign - which seeks to encourage visitors to enjoy the more rural areas of the Highlands and Islands in a way that's respectful to the natural environment. 

Keep your eyes peeled for the marketing campaign which will launch in autumn 2022.

Find out more about the project, and what this means for Orkney.

Orkney consumer marketing and PR content updates

On our consumer facing website,, our teams are constantly updating the website with fresh, new content which is ready to inspire future visitors. Let's take a look at new content which has featured Orkney recently. Why not share this on your own channels to inspire your visitors?

Round 45 of EventScotland's National Events Programme

The recovery of Scotland’s events industry and the country’s position as the perfect stage for events continues to be strengthened as our EventScotland team awards more than £740,000 of funding from its National Events Programme to 65 live events.

For Orkney this includes:

  • £17,500 towards The 38th Orkney Folk Festival which took place across 25 - 28 May
  • £11,000 towards St Magnus International Festival  which took place 17 - 26 June 
  • £17,800 towards The Orkney International Science Festival which will take place from 31 August to 7 September

Find out more about the National Events Programme. 

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