Completely disregarded by VisitScotland (Kathy Greaves)

I learned recently of the plans to close the VisitScotland office at Sumburgh Airport, and was interested to read the article on the subject in last week’s Shetland Times (17th November).

The powers that be in VisitScotland’s head office, in Edinburgh, obviously consider the 5,000 or so enquiries of so little importance that they will close the office due to “lack of use”. For such a small place as Sumburgh Airport to have had so many enquiries in a year is, in my opinion, quite an achievement, and who can say how those 5,000 visitors to Shetland could have been helped if the VisitScotland staff had not been there to assist them.

Once again Shetland’s unique position is completely disregarded in this obvious cost-cutting exercise. You can see from the attached photographs (see foot of article) how quiet the airport can be sometimes, which is not surprising, compared to how extremely busy it can be when planes are cancelled – as happened recently, when the concourse was packed with unhappy would-be-passengers seeking help and advice on finding they would have to stay in Shetland overnight – it was too late to take the bus to Lerwick to get on the ferry to Aberdeen by that time.

Airport check-in staff were occupied with rebooking passengers, issuing vouchers and so on, while dozens of people were assisted by the very informative and competent member of VisitScotland staff who dealt with baggage reclaim, bus timetables, accommodation, taxis, and so on.

If the VisitScotland staff had not been there on the day I recorded, there was no-one from any other organisation to help calm down, assure and direct those passengers.

If VisitScotland have given up trying to help passengers to and from Shetland, maybe we need our own Visit Shetland or Promote Shetland company to take over this very necessary job.

Kathy Greaves


Add Your Comment

Add Your Comment

Please note, it is the policy of The Shetland Times to publish comments and letters from named individuals only. Both forename and surname are required.

Comments are moderated. Contributors must observe normal standards of decency and tolerance for the opinions of others.

The views expressed are those of contributors and not of The Shetland Times.

The Shetland Times reserves the right to decline or remove any contribution without notice or stating reason.

Comments are limited to 200 words but please email longer articles or letters to for consideration and include a daytime telephone number and your address. If emailing information in confidence please put "Not for publication" in both the subject line and at the top of the main message.

200 words left

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


Get Latest News in Your Inbox

Join the The Shetland Times mailing list to get one daily email update at midday on what's happening in Shetland.