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Visit Scotland | Alba
Article published 21/12/2023

Shetland Tall Ships Limited has reported positive results of the Lerwick Tall Ships Races in July. The event impact assessment report from the event reported excellent levels of satisfaction from participants and visitors.

99% percent of respondents rated the overall experience of the Tall Ships Races as very good or good. Among the aspects highly rated were the attitude and helpfulness of staff and volunteers, information and awareness, and quality of food and drink.

The cruise-in-company was also well scored for their participation in Cullivoe, Baltasound, Aberdeen, and Stromness. High percentages, between 90-100%, showed an appetite to return to future events in these locations.

Volunteers were an integral part of delivering the event. There was a high level of satisfaction, with 94% rating their overall experience as very good or good. Crew and trainee responses from the tall ships fleet echoed the positive rating at 97% satisfaction.

Key event statistics


total visitor numbers


unique attendees

£4.5 million

gross direct spend in Shetland

£3 million

net direct spend in Shetland

Travel and accommodation formed the highest element of spend, but there was also significant expenditure on food & drink and retail, providing positive impacts to the local economy.

The objectives of Shetland Tall Ships Limited were to:

  • provide an enjoyable event that showcased Shetland as a place to live and work
  • promote tourism and sailing
  • engage with young people
  • develop skills and community confidence

These have been overwhelmingly met. Positive media coverage has been estimated with a value of £600,000 with an additional social media reach.

EKOS consultancy practice was appointed to undertake the study, which included interviews conducted during the four-day event.


As the year draws to a close, the positive event impact assessment allows us to look back on what has been a memorable landmark event in the Shetland calendar.

My thanks to everyone involved in making this such a huge success.

Malcolm Bell, Chair of Shetland Tall Ships Limited

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