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C/o VisitShetland, Market Cross, Lerwick, Shetland
- By stasecretary
- On 22/01/2016
Its that time of year again!
This year I have tried to put everything into a poster format so that it is simple to print out for your guests & customers.
The what's on is 6 pages but it includes everything from visitor attractions which are open, exhibitions that are on right through to trips and tours available.
Also available are posters for events and tours happening - some might be heavy on the ink though so you can choose what you would like to print out!
There is also the VisitScotland Up Helly Aa guide leaflet which explains what is going on and timing for Up Helly Aa day for visitors.
Finally as per usual the only bus operating on Wednesday 27th will be the Lerwick to Sumburgh Airport Route (no 6) which will have a restricted service with departures at:
Icelandair has recently announced that they will begin flights from Keflavik in Iceland to Aberdeen 4 days a week from the 9th of March 2016. Icelandair have operated flights to Glasgow for several years now but never have they come so close to Shetland.
Since the Norröna stopped calling in to Lerwick we have had little reason to look towards the Icelandic market. But in recent years there has been a little more collaboration with the Iclenader's, there have been various art projects which have seen Shetlander's & Icelander's working together. When Shetland host the North Atlantic Native Sheep Conference in 2013 there was a delegation of Icelander's who attended and when Iceland hosted the conference last year a delegation of Shetlander's took up the opportunity to visit Iceland. This November will see the Shetland's first Crime Writting Festival "Shetland Noir" which is being held in partnership with the "Iceland Noir" festival, so there is perhaps more happening between Shetland and Iceland as you may think.
Iceland has also become a gateway for American travellers and this route could provide easier access to Shetland for visitors for the US & Canada.
For anyone following the routes of the Vikings it will also be easier than ever now to combine flights from Iceland to Scotland, boat or flight to Orkney & Shetland and flights to Norway.
Or for the geologist it would be possible to visit the ancient remains of a volcano here in Shetland, stop along one of the greatest oil industry cities in the world and then visit an active volcano in Iceland.
So for all of you with friends in Iceland lets get the word of mouth going that Shetland just got a step closer.
As you have probably heard Shetland will soon have a new air connection to Norway starting on the 24th of November 2014. Operators Bergen Air Transport will be offering 12 seats on their Beechcraft King Air B200 flight which will also be providing a cargo service flying on Thursday's & Monday's so perfect for weekend get-aways.
As well as the year round service providing us an excellent opportuintiy to pick up a increased number of visitors from our neighbour the cargo options of this flight re-opens the opportunites available to Shetland in exploiting the North Sea Cycle Route which since the end of the sea link with Bergen has been increasingly difficult as there is no guarentee with Flybe/ Loganair that your bike would be able to travel with you.
Along with the news that Flybe/Loganair are to start running their flights slightly longer to capture the travellers who wish to go between Norway & Shetland for Norwegian Constitution Day this provides us with an excellent opportunity to increase our focus on the opportunities available in the Scandinavian Market.
If there are any businesses who are particularly keen to capitalise on these new links there is a consumer travel fair being held in Bergen on the 17th & 18th of January, for more information check out Reiselivsmessen
As the year that "Scotland Welcomes the World" begins to come to a close now that all of the major events have finished, the Scottish Government in partnership with EventScotland & VisitScotland will return to the "Year of..." marketing & development campaigns.
2015 will be the Year of Food & Drink and will see Scotland Food & Drink joining the partnership to place a spotlight on the nations industry. VisitScotland and EventScotland will of course be focusing on the tourism opportunities and they will be celebrating food & drink as part of Scottish cultural identity and heritage in promoting Scotland as a holiday destination. This is not without good reason, research has shown that visitors to Scotland want to try local food and two-thirds of visitors have identified quality food as an important factor in deciding where they want to holiday.
VisitScotland have recently released their Year of Food & Drink toolkit, which you can find here or by clicking on the banner below, this provides a range of information about what the Year of Food & Drink is about, research, has logos and digital banners available for use as well as ideas for monthly food themes and information about local suppliers.
As well as promoting Scotland through Food & Drink there is also a special growth fund specifically aimed at development in this area available.
Demand is likely to be high on the applications to this fund so act fast on this, you can find out more about this special Growth Fund here.