Covid-19 has had a huge impact on the tourism industry worldwide. With people unable to travel for a large part of this year and with destinations facing a much shorter tourist season now that restrictions are lifting, how can areas continue to market their destinations?
This is one of the challenges we faced when redeveloping our content strategy for Promote Shetland. As mentioned in an earlier blog, we acted quickly at the start of lockdown and created a 'Virtual Shetland' campaign, looking at how people could enjoy the best of Shetland from home.
Now that Shetland is reopen to tourism, we wanted to capitalise on the fact that many people won't be travelling far this year. We've done this by encouraging islanders to make the most of what's on their own doorstep with our Rediscover Shetland campaign. As well as highlighting a range of places to visit, the campaign also promotes responsible tourism, reminding people that coronavirus hasn't gone away so it's important to behave responsibly and be respectful of others in the community.
With most of the NB team based in Shetland, we thought we'd share some of the ways we've been rediscovering Shetland since lockdown restrictions were lifted.
"After spending the majority of lockdown in a one-bedroom flat in Edinburgh, it has been a breath of fresh air to return to Shetland. The natural beauty and abundance of wildlife here never fails to take my breath away. Each day before I start work I enjoy a brisk walk along the South Whiteness Road and I never know what I'm going to see: otters, seals, wandering ducks or little lambs. I've even made a few new wooly friends while out and about."
David Nicol, Managing Director
"I love the wildness of Northmavine and try to visit as often as possible in the summer. The stunning cliffs of Eshaness are rightly popular – and very easy to access – and I'm looking forward to getting back to Ronas Hill, the Lang Ayre, Uyea and Fethaland as soon as I get a chance. But perhaps my favourite spot in Northmavine is Stenness. It's very easy to get to, but it's rare to see anyone else there. Here's a photo from a glorious day last summer."
"In the South Mainland of Shetland there are so many beaches to choose from, but our five-year-old son was delighted to discover a 'secret beach' whilst out walking near home. A short hop from Peerie Spiggie, we scrambled down the grassy banks to make it to the sand. With high banks either side it was sheltered with gorgeous turquoise seas. Our son was absolutely enchanted, and so were we. Does it matter that it's not actually a secret? No, because it felt like it to us."
David Gifford, Web Developer
"I've been re-discovering my local area around the fine village of Gulberwick! I'm posting, over time, a collection of images on my photography website."
For more inspiration on Rediscovering Shetland this summer, visit Shetland.org.