Shetland Tourism Association (STA) is a member organisation providing support to around 80 tourism businesses throughout Shetland. I have been a member for a few years now and had been on the committee until April of this year.
In April, Island Vista were awarded a contract from STA to conduct a 6-month research project to find out how Shetland tourism businesses were doing since reopening again post-lockdown. The funding for the project came from VisitScotland’s Sector and Destination Operational and Market Readiness fund (try saying that quickly!) and this money would allow us to conduct a tourism services assessment and public consultation about the restart of the tourism industry.
As part of the STA’s constitution, you can’t work for STA while being on the committee, so I temporarily paused my role. The plan was for me to join the committee again at the STA AGM in November, once the project had been completed. If I had known then what I know now…
Back in October, I was approached by Emma Miller, who was the Chair of STA to ask whether I would be interested in taking on the role. Emma has recently taken on the role of coordination the Tall Ships in Shetland in 2023 and now needed to focus her time on that.
If Emma had asked me prior to doing the research project, I’m not sure I would have agreed to it but I thoroughly enjoyed doing the project and enjoyed being able to help support some of the local tourism businesses, many of which had been badly hit by the pandemic.
The AGM took place on 10th November, and I was formally nominated back onto the committee and then nominated into the role of chairperson. A role I look forward to undertaking.
If you would like to know more about the tourism services assessment, the final report can be found on the STA website: https://www.shetlandtourismassociation.org/news/final-results-of-the-sta-tourism-services-assessment-study-are-published