The council is inviting tenders from parties interesting in managing and co-ordinating the new Promote Shetland service, due to begin in September.
The initial main activity is visitor promotion, including media advertising, arranging trips for visiting journalists and developing promotional materials such as DVDs and printed literature. The service will also support improving the quality of the visitor experience in the isles and will become involved in a wider marketing role across different sectors as it develops.
In February the SIC agreed to an annual cost of £453,392 for the set-up and operation of the service which includes an estimated £100,000 for the purchase of marketing services from VisitScotland. Previously the council provided funding directly to VisitScotland for visitor promotion.
Vice-convener Josie Simpson, chairman of the SIC economic development unit, said: “We are now at a fairly exciting point in this initiative. The council took the decision that the Promote Shetland service should be provided via a third party contract so we are asking those with the necessary track-record, skills and passion in marketing to come forward with proposals based on managing and developing a range of promotional opportunities for Shetland.”