The Shetland Tourism Association’s ongoing study into the health of the local tourism industry is now open for public consultation. The STA wants to hear your opinions on the sector. The consultation period for sector businesses is drawing to a close. Now we are looking for local residents’ ideas and opinions on tourism in Shetland as we gradually emerge from the pandemic.
In the spring of this year the STA received funding from the VisitScotland Sector & Destination Operational & Market Readiness Fund to carry out a comprehensive, Shetland-wide, Tourism Services Assessment. The research is still ongoing, unlike many surveys concluded earlier in the season when it was difficult to predict how re-opening would go. A local company, Island Vista, was commissioned to complete the STA sector assessment for the end of this year, delivering monthly progress reports over the summer months.
Island Vista have worked hard to consult as many businesses as possible and preliminary results show that while most tourism businesses are still facing significant challenges of various kinds, the picture in Shetland is slightly more optimistic than had been expected.
The next phase of the study is to ask the public how they feel about tourism and travel. If you would like to participate you can do so here: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/HD6HQMH or contact Jolene Garriock of Island Vista directly to request a paper copy of the survey or complete the survey by phone.
You will also have the opportunity to participate at the Taste of Shetland Festival on Saturday the 23rd of October, from 10am till 5pm at the Clickimin Leisure Centre. The festival is to be one of the first in-person events hosted by the Clickimin Centre since the pandemic began. The STA will be participating with an information stall and a short film featuring some of their members.
Jolene Garriock of Island Vista will be present at Clickimin to help people complete the survey. She said: “I’m really looking forward to the event and getting people’s ideas and feedback on how the tourism sector is doing. There is still a little more time for businesses to participate too. We want to hear from as many people as possible so do get in touch.”
For businesses the STA survey involved an initial online survey and a personalised follow-up call. During the call business owners were offered the chance to voice their concerns and, when possible, the Island Vista team also signposted business support that already exists.
The public consultation survey involves a 5-minute online questionnaire but can be completed in person at the festival or via post too. For more information contact Jolene Garriock at email@example.com or by telephone on 07770 837011.
Emma Miller, Chair of the STA, said “Any survey is only as good as the sample of responses it reflects. It is of vital importance that people do take part in the STA’s local assessment. It is only by having as much accurate local data as possible that we can effectively act as the voice calling for the kind of tourism sector Shetland would like to see.”