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Article published 10/02/2023

Hear from Steve Mathieson, Development Manager

Steve Mathieson

Steve Mathieson, Development Manager for Shetland


Welcome to the first regional update of the year. In this update, we look back at our key activity in the last quarter of 2022. Our industry continues to adjust to tough new financial circumstances and it is clear that these will continue to impact in the year ahead.

But there is much to build on and we remain committed to doing what we can to support the industry, whether that’s bringing people to Scotland, offering support and guidance to businesses, or creating opportunities for growth and investment.  

Our marketing, funding and business support activities are all aimed at building on these shoots of recovery to support the responsible growth of our industry.  

It has been a busy period in Shetland – from the launch of our film guide to supporting critically-endangered crafts through our Shop Local retail initiative in Lerwick iCentre - and much more.  

Find out more in this regional update on how all our work is helping to support the ambitions of the national tourism strategy, Scotland Outlook 2030, for Scotland to be a world leader in 21st century tourism. 

Update from our iCentre staff

Lerwick iCentreLerwick iCentre

The return of Shetland Wool Week at the end of September and start of October was a welcome sight. The Lerwick iCentre worked closely with the Wool Week team to ensure attendees were able to once again enjoy everything that Shetland has to offer by setting up an outreach iCentre in the Wool Week Hub.

During the week, we also hosted an event in the iCentre highlighting two of our local producers with a focus on the preservation of endangered crafts.

Throughout the winter we continued to see visitors with some Aurora hunters but also several people working in Shetland looking to make the most of their free time. We also saw a number of small group tours visiting in December.

Towards Christmas, the iCentre worked closely with Living Lerwick to support their events on Da Street by taking part in late night shopping events and being the pickup and drop off point for the Christmas Trail and shop window votes. Our local community once again showed their support for local producers by many shopping locally for Christmas.

We've had a steady stream of enquiries for 2023 and the return of Up Helly Aa and Tall Ships have been popular enquiries. For accommodation enquiries, we've noticed that the summer of 2023 is already picking up.

Latest activity from our regional corporate press team

  • Working with the media

    Steve Mathieson was interviewed by BBC Radio Shetland after we issued an opinion editorial regarding the Shetland tourism industry’s resilience in challenging operating times.

  • Shop Local

    Our feature about how Shop Local is helping support critically-endangered crafts in Shetland was used on BBC Radio Shetland and also in the Shetland Times.

  • Film guide launch

    Our press release about the launch of our Set in Scotland film guide, appeared in the Shetland Times.

New blogs on

Shetland museum

Visitors at Shetland Museum

You could inspire your visitors, refresh your website and social media by sharing our blogs. Our regional marketing team create new blogs regularly which feature on We've included Shetland in these latest articles:

9 Free UNESCO attractions to experience in Scotland

9 reasons why you should visit Scotland in 2023

How to enjoy a local community experience in Scotland

6 Scottish fire festivals that will warm your heart this winter

Scottish traditional music to listen to on a musical journey through Scotland

Global PR highlights

Year of Stories 2022

Year of stories launch image

The Year of Stories launch image

The end of 2022 closed the book on the Year of Stories, however there’s a wealth of resources and information here on to continue the legacy of the Themed Year.

In case you missed it, Shetland Museum and Archives featured within a story on new initiatives and campaigns created by attractions across Scotland. Take a look at our news story.

Publishing partnerships with News UK (The Sun) was part of Year of Stories supported promotion of the Great Days Out campaign. It focused on:

  • storytelling related attractions
  • those with a great story to tell
  • free attractions

Both Jarlshof Prehistoric and Norse Settlement featured.

Regional marketing

UNESCO Trail web imageScotland's UNESCO trail logo

We had a successful end to the year for Scotland’s UNESCO Trail, forming part of a well-received Parliamentary Reception in December. It was attended by representatives from a number of UNESCO designations and MSPs.

There was strong engagement from paid media activity in the UK, France and Germany, which included activity with Wanderlust.

The Trail has so far won two awards - Fondazione Santagata Award for sustainable development projects and the UK - Wanderlust Sustainability Award.

The final phase of paid media activity, across publishing, partnerships and PR, runs between January and March this year.

Shetland UNESCO Global Geopark has a designated page within the trail website. The page also showcases places to visit, eat and stay on the island. 

Related links