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Hoswick event to gather views on isles' tourism future

| Written by Shetland News

SHETLAND Tourism Association (STA) is staging an event in Hoswick later this month to give local providers and members of the public the chance to have a say on the future of the isles’ tourism industry.

The event, at the Hoswick Visitor Centre on Thursday 23 November from 2-5pm, will give people the chance to feed their views into the formation of a Shetland tourism strategy.

STA said it would build on the work already done in a tourism industry survey and also take account of the Scottish Tourism Alliance’s national strategy. The event is open to everyone and is free to attend, with a light lunch provided beforehand.

STA chairman James Tait said: “It is important that folk from our tourism industry in Shetland are at the forefront of bringing this strategy forward. We are looking for an outcome that will result in a forward-thinking and robust strategy with an action plan to grow our industry and make sure Shetland remains a must-visit place for tourists.”

Caroline Warburton of the Scottish Tourism Alliance will be in attendance to help develop the plan. The STA is keen to stress that this will “not be an exercise starting from scratch, but one where stakeholders can build on recognised good practice, existing resources and known facts”.

Tourism in the isles has been boosted by the popularity of crime drama Shetland and other TV coverage in recent years, while the number of cruise ship visitors continues to rise.

Ferry fare cuts and the introduction of competition on air links to and from the Scottish mainland have also opened up the possibility of boosting visitor numbers.

The STA’s AGM will take place following the open event at Hoswick, and the group is looking for new representatives from different areas of Shetland and tourism to join the committee, which meets bi-monthly.

Anyone who would like to join is asked to contact Selina May Miller before the event with an expression of interest, and stay for the meeting, which will begin at 5.30pm following a short meal break. Email shetlandtourismassociation@gmail.com.

To book a free space on the workshop, you can reserve a ticket at www.goo.gl/M44jHR by midday on Tuesday 21 November. Lunch will be served at 1pm and the workshop will begin promptly at 2pm.

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