Visits to Scottish Islands up 22% with scenery cited as premiere reason for trip

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31st May 2018 15:18 - Sport, Leisure and Tourism

Visits to Scottish Islands up 22% with scenery cited as premiere reason for trip: An in-depth report published this month has given valuable insight into tourism on the Scottish islands of Orkney, The Outer Hebrides and Shetland, and why people chose to visit last year.

Visits to Scottish Islands up 22 percent

The Islands Visitor Survey was commissioned by the local authorities of the Outer Hebrides, Orkney and Shetland, in partnership with VisitScotland, and was conducted throughout January – December 2017. It looked at the motivations for visitor journeys to the islands as well as experiences for business, leisure and friends/family visits.

Scenery and Landscapes – top reasons for visit

The survey revealed the number one reason for visiting the Outer Hebrides was for the scenery and landscapes with 71% of leisure visitors saying that is why they made the trip. Landscape and Scenery were also the top reasons for visiting Orkney (64%) and Shetland (57%). Other top reasons cited were History and Culture, particularly in Orkney, where 62% respondents said it was a reason they chose to visit (33% said the same of Shetland and 32% of Outer Hebrides).

Influence from TV and books

Television, books and travel write-ups also provided inspiration for people visiting the islands. Twenty-eight percent of those visiting Shetland said they had been inspired by a TV programme, as had 29% of Orkney and 20% of Outer Hebrides visitors.

One of the things that visitors said made their trips so enjoyable was the welcome they experienced from locals – with 9 out of 10 saying it enhanced their holiday. Ninety-six percent of those visiting Shetland said they were made to feel welcome by local residents.

The research also found one in three people are visiting the islands from outside the UK, showing the destination's international pull.

You can see a full breakdown of the research here

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