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Chamber and committees

Question ref. S5W-11199
Asked by: Maree Todd, Highlands and Islands, Scottish National Party
Date lodged: 11 September 2017

Question

To ask the Scottish Government what its response is to reports of a large increase in the number of visitors to Orkney.

Current status: Answered by Fiona Hyslop on 21 September 2017


Answer

The Scottish Government fully recognises the importance of sustaining a high quality tourism product to Orkney’s economic wellbeing. To this end, Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) jointly commissioned with Orkney Islands Council a study into the general impacts of volume tourism in Orkney.

The report has recently been published by Orkney Islands Council, and its outcomes will be used by HIE, the Council, Historic Environment Scotland (HES), VisitScotland and the local tourism industry (Orkney Tourism Group) to work collaboratively in putting in place a more long-term management strategy for tourism in Orkney.

HIE have also supported other initiatives to help spread visitors around Orkney and reduce some congestion, for example, support to a new £1m visitor centre for Shelia Fleet Jewellery in the East Mainland (opening 2018); and towards the Heritage Lottery Fund backed re-development of the Scapa Flow Visitor Centre at Lyness on Hoy (complete 2019).

HES and the Council have already put in place a number of short-term measures this season to try to alleviate some of the main issues at key sites.