Former ambulanceman Steve Mathieson has been appointed as VisitScotland’s new Shetland manager, based at the tourist information centre at the Market Cross in Lerwick.
As the organisation’s local figurehead and most senior employee, his new role puts him in charge of visitor services across the isles, managing staff and budget at the centres in both Lerwick and Sumburgh Airport.
Mr Mathieson worked with the ambulance service in Shetland for the last five years and prior to that had over 20 years experience in the private sector, with senior roles in marketing, advertising, sales management and consultancy.
According to VisitScotland chief executive Philip Riddle, his strengths in management and his ability to motivate staff would stand him in good stead for his new role in the tourism industry.
Mr Riddle said: “With his wide-ranging experience, as well as his local roots, we are confident Steve will bring a wealth of expertise to the role and to the tourism sector on the islands. His previous roles have left him well equipped to deal with the numerous tourism businesses in the islands, the visitor information centres, and of course the various important partners such as Shetland Islands Council and Highlands and Islands Enterprise.
“Tourism is a major employer in Shetland and indeed Scotland as a whole, so it is essential we attract high calibre people to enable us to continue to achieve our growth ambitions for the future.”
Mr Mathieson, whose family hail from Unst, said: “I have spent the past five years working with a thoroughly professional team who do an amazing job for the people of Shetland. I am now looking forward to working to a similar standard with the VisitScotland team here in the islands.
“Shetland is a fantastic place and has so much to offer the visitor, and the fact that I am passionate about the islands will make my role that much more enjoyable.”
Mr Mathieson has taken over from previous manager, Andy Steven, who worked for VisitScotland and Shetland Islands Tourist Board in Shetland for six years and now heads the Promote Shetland organisation, under the auspices of Shetland Amenity Trust.