Shetland is a popular destination for travellers exploring Northern Europe and the Nordic regions. Some are inspired to visit after reading about or watching the exploits of DI Jimmy Perez in Ann Cleeves’ ‘Shetland’ series, some come for the spectacular wildlife, and others head here for one of the islands’ many events, like Up Helly Aa, Shetland Wool Week or the Shetland Folk Festival.
Shetland’s tourism market is a growing one, with the number of visitors and visitor spend having increased significantly from 2013-2017. The value of tourism to our economy grew from £16.2 million in 2013 to £23.2 million in 2017, and growth is projected to continue with the ambition of the Shetland Tourism strategy to achieve £33.5 million visitor spend by 2023.
One of the aims of the strategy is to grow the season, to ensure a sustainable tourism sector all year round. There is also opportunity to develop more high-end visitor experiences and services which exploit all that Shetland has to offer.