A seminar aimed at helping tourism businesses stay green will be held in Lerwick next week.
VisitScotland’s nationwide programme of sustainable tourism events will visit Shetland Museum on Tuesday 2nd November, when expert advice will be on offer from Steven Coutts of the Energy Saving Trust from 10.30am.
Help will also come from Jenny Sim of Keep Scotland Beautiful, See Shetland’s Sarah McBurnie and Paul Easto from Wilderness Scotland.
The event is being held to help businesses gain an understanding of how sustainable practices can improve their bottom line and, in turn, assist with tourism growth in the isles.
The seminar will focus on waste, energy and community engagement and include interactive workshop sessions, networking and one to one sessions. The organisers say the environment plays a large part in why people come to Shetland.
Visitors from Denmark, Spain and the USA list it as their top reason to visit Scotland, according to Visit Scotland research. Three quarters of visitors also feel that Scotland protects and cares for its natural environment. The Scottish government hopes to establish Scotland as Europe’s most sustainable destination by 2015.
VisitShetland manager Steve Mathieson said: “Sustainable tourism is about ensuring that tourism is a good thing for everyone involved – visitors, tourism businesses and the local community.
“Growth in tourism is key to the future of Shetland, and this workshop will help equip tourism businesses across the area with the information they need to minimise the impact of their activities on the environment and community, while also contributing to economic growth.
“At the same time, we are developing our own sustainable tourism strategy to ensure VisitScotland is recognised as a leader in sustainable tourism development through our internal operations, engaging with visitors, businesses and working in partnership with key tourism players.”