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Article published 02/05/2023

Introduction from Development Manager, Steve Mathieson

Welcome to our latest regional update of the year where we look back at our key activity for the first quarter of 2023 between January and March. There are many challenges still facing our industry but at the start of our traditional tourism season in Scotland, we want to remind those in tourism and events of how far we have come, and the opportunities that lie ahead.

The return of Lerwick Up Helly Aa after a two year absence was a spectacular hit with visitors and locals alike, while the rural fire festivals are carrying on where they left off and steadily growing in popularity. Unfortunately our influencer missed South Mainland Up Helly Aa due to its weather postponement, but still found Shetland in the winter snow an enchanting place to report on.

Scottish Tourism Month in March presented the opportunity to celebrate our achievements and for the industry to come together at events throughout the region to share learnings, best practice and ideas for future collaboration.

And we've had lots of media coverage whether that's through our press team or global and regional marketing activity - it's all promoting our tourism offering on a world stage.

Here’s a round-up of some of our activity in Shetland in recent months. 

Steve Mathieson
Steve Mathieson, Development Manager

Corporate press update

Our corporate PR team work closely with Scottish and UK media to raise awareness of our work to promote the Shetland to visitors, and how we offer support for the industry.

Some of the most recent highlights include:

  • Steve Mathieson, our Development Manager for Shetland, gave interviews to BBC Radio Shetland about the popularity of aurora tourism in the islands and the benefit of the BBC’s Wild Isles programme to tourism in Shetland.
  • Steve gave a comment to the Shetland Times on the ferry fares freeze and the Scottish Islands Passport.
  • The press team assisted a BBC journalist with information relating to his visit to Up Helly Aa in January. And they assisted the i Newspaper and Shetland News with information around local tourism businesses involved in the BBC's Wild Isles programme.
  • They encouraged tourism businesses across Scotland to take part in Connect, our global travel trade workshop which took place in Aberdeen.
Read about the successes of Connect 2023

Businesses at

Businesses at their appointments at VisitScotland Connect

Shetland content on

Blogs are a way to reach potential visitors to Shetland through targeted online content. They are one way in which we can really focus on specific topics that we know, from our research, that our visitors are searching for, or interested in.

You can share our content our blogs which are available on, here are some blogs which feature Shetland:

Work with our marketing team to promote your business

Campers at Braewick, Eshaness

Visitors at Braewick Cafe & Campsite, overlooking the shore of Braewick Bay, Eshaness, Shetland.

Global PR update

Regional marketing

Find out more about how we’re working to develop Shetland’s outstanding reputation in the global market. This includes information on what we do, how we do it and who we market to.

Shetland on our social media

1.82 million reached

by Shetland specific content in the last three months


reactions, likes, comments, shares and saves on Shetland posts in the last three months

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