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Visit Scotland | Alba
Article published 03/11/2022

Find out about our recent activity to support tourism recovery for Shetland in our update covering July - September 2022


What's included in this update?

Introduction from Development Manager, Steve Mathieson

Supporting the industry

Scotland’s UNESCO Trail - Shetland UNESCO Global Geopark

Inspiring visitors by blogging

Press update

Island funding awards

Year of Stories 2022 - Shetland activity

Lerwick iCentre update

In other news

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Introduction from Development Manager, Steve Mathieson

Steve Mathieson

It has been fantastic to see the return of domestic and international visitors to Shetland over the summer months. From the traditional opening event of the season, Shetland Folk Festival, to the recent Wool Week, we’ve seen excellent visitor numbers arriving in the islands. 

 As we approach the winter season, we will continue to work with partners in our tourism and events industry on promoting activity that extends the season and ensures Scotland - and Shetland - remains front of mind for potential visitors.  

We’re prioritising activities that will stimulate demand and new bookings for the industry to support its long-term recovery, with more details in our update.  

We know that many businesses are facing difficult decisions and are having to consider how they adapt their operations to manage the cost challenges. We would encourage you to explore our website for all the latest industry advice, support and guidance and we will bring you news on industry events taking place in the region.   

We also want to take the opportunity to celebrate our tourism and events industry who have worked tirelessly in the past two years. The return of the Highlands & Islands Tourism Awards in November offers us the chance to do this and I would like to wish the four Shetland shortlisted businesses the very best of luck. 


Best regards,

Steve Mathieson

Scotland’s UNESCO Trail -  Shetland UNESCO Global Geopark

Hermaness cliffs

Hermaness National Nature Reserve is located on the island of Shetland and is part of the island's UNESCO Geopark Designation


Some of Scotland’s most iconic, diverse and culturally significant sites are being promoted to domestic and international visitors with the launch of our dedicated marketing campaign, developed in collaboration with UNESCO and designation partners.

The campaign will promote Scotland’s UNESCO Trail to potential visitors from the UK & Ireland, Germany and France with the aim of encouraging them to discover more about the country’s 13 place-based designations included in the trail. Read more about the campaign and trail.

The Shetland UNESCO Global Geopark is now part of the national UNESCO trail, you can see the dedicated Shetland content at the trail website.

Watch Scotland's UNESCO Trail film

Inspiring visitors through blogging

Viking festival

Our content team create a range of articles, web content and blogs to inspire potential visitors. We've pulled together some of our latest blogs for you to share  on your social media channels.

12 Unique experiences and unusual things to do in Shetland

12 Reasons why Shetland is the perfect escape

6 Unmissable things to do in Shetland

Embrace your inner Viking at Shetland's fire festivals


Read about our latest corporate press activity

  • Our regional press officer Kim Walton has been working with the Shetland team to promote Shetland to a regional and national audience. Through social media, press activity, radio and TV interviews, our spokesperrson and Island Manager Steve Mathieson has been kept busy!

    Read on for more on the press activity.

  • Steve Mathieson, VisitScotland Development Manager for Shetland, conducted an interview with BBC Radio Shetland about Shetland Wool Week’s value to tourism in Shetland.

  • We shared a number of tweets relating to Shop Local in our Lerwick iCentre, including the popularity of Joan Fraser’s Fair Isle scarves and a ‘Meet the Maker’ event with Eve Eunson and Mary Fraser in Lerwick iCentre.

    Follow VisitScotland @visitscotnews on Twitter

  • Steve spoke to the Shetland News about the importance of screen tourism to Shetland following the news that an eighth series of Shetland was planned.

    And he spoke to BBC Scotland’s The Nine about the new series of Shetland and the impact it has had on tourism on the islands.

  • We arranged for Steve to be interviewed by BBC Radio Shetland about St Ninian’s Isle beach coming out top in a survey of the top 10 UK beaches.

Shetland funding award - the Islands Programme

Eshaness cliffs

Eshaness cliffs


Two projects in Shetland will receive a share of £4.45 million to assist critical projects on climate change, population retention and tourism as part of the Islands Programme.

The Programme supports the implementation of the 2019 National Islands Plan, helping to make the Scottish islands even better places to live, study, work and raise a family.

The two projects that were awarded funding were:

  • Aald Skul Enterprise Development - £88,095.
  • Papa Stour Kirk Development - £252,505

Read more about all the projects funded across 31 islands

The Year of stories 2022 - Shetland activity

Walker in Shetland

The Gaada stack, on the island of Foula


The Year of stories 2022 continues with a range of in-person, virtual and hybrid events. The Shetland Museum and Archives are hosting a series of events as part of the Year of Stories 2022 Community Stories Fund with Shetland’s community stories at its heart.


Here are two Year of Stories 2022 events taking place in Shetland:

If the Isles could speak: Shetlands Hidden Stories (August - October 2022)

This exhibition  showcased stories held within the Shetland Museum and Archives focusing on two chosen themes:

  • Very Superstitious – including tales of Shetland Folklore.
  • Overcoming Hardships – featuring artefacts which allow us to reconnect with stories of Shetlanders who have endured hardships and their stories of survival.

Year of Stories Film Series

A series of films will be released over the coming months including stories of lesser known tales of myths and superstition in the isles. There will also be a film which captures Da Peerie Ooricks storybooks, written by local author Ann Marie Anderson, telling the story of Myrtle and Meenie, two friendly witches who turn a monster good.


Find out more Shetland museum and archives and the Year of Stories 2022 events

Learn about the Year of Stories 2022

Update from Lewick iCentre

We provide face-to-face information provision and inspiration to visitors through a Scotland-wide network of iCentres (Information Centres).  Our iCentres remain at the heart of information delivery. Our knowledgeable and passionate staff provide a personalised service to visitors, making their visit even more memorable and helping them to experience all the local area and surrounding region have to offer.

We've been talking to our staff at our Lerwick iCentre to discuss the period of July - September 2022.


Shetland iCentre event

Eve Eunson explaining the construction of a Fair Isle Straw Backed Chair to a customer from a recent event.

Read our Q&A with the Lerwick team

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