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NCDC Tourism Action Plan

Year One of this project drew to a close on Thursday 29th March 2007 with the launch of the Northmavine Tourism Action Plan. One of the many guests attending the event at the Sullom and Gunnister Hall was Shetland’s MSP and Scottish Minister for Transport, Tavish Scott.

Compere for the evening was Pat Christie, Local Development Worker, and the guest speakers included Tavish Scott, MSP; Ingrid Laurenson, NCDC Tourism Support Worker; Steven Simpson, Visit Shetland; Margaret Roberts, NCDC Chair; and Kate Blazeby, Shetland Amenity Trust.

NDC Tourism Plan launch

Photo © Lorna Sandison. Please click on photo for a larger version.

From left to right: Steven Simpson, Visit Shetland; Tavish Scott, MSP; Ingrid Laurenson, NCDC Tourism Support Worker; Alistair Williamson, Tourism sub-group; Margaret Roberts, NCDC Chair and Kate Blazeby, Shetland Amenity Trust

What is the main aim and broad objectives of this action plan?

Aim: to provide a detailed plan and timescale for developing tourist facilities in Northmavine.


• Identify current local facilities.
• Analyse visitor need for facilities.
• Evaluate potential projects.
• Organise a timescale.
• Identify funding.

What were the methods used to complete this plan?

• Brainstorming: both community consultation and through regular tourism group meetings.
• Local audit of tourist facilities.
• Discussions with local groups.
• Discussions with local accommodation providers.
• Northmavine Needs survey analysis.
• Shetland Visitor Survey 2006 analysis.
• Examinations of like minded group websites.

How many visitors come into Shetland?

• A recent survey stated there were 104,241 visitors to Shetland from October 2005 to September 2006.
• It was estimated the visitors brought £16.43 million into the Shetland economy.
• It is estimated 36,554 people visited the North Mainland; however this total does not include internal visitors, people arriving on yachts or cruise liners.

What ideas are discussed in this plan?

There are a large range of ideas presented in this action plan which can be broken down into four main categories:

• Promotion (e.g. website development).
• Facilities (e.g. interpretive centre).
• Things to do and see (e.g. footpaths and geoparks).
• Pastimes and Sports (e.g. angling and cycling).

How will the plan be used?

• To provide the Northmavine Community Development Company tourism sub-group with a guide and timescale in which to complete projects.
• By the general public to gain inspiration in starting their own private enterprises.
• By other local groups and individuals to further understand what progress has already been made and is expected to be made in the future.
• To provide a basis against which to test the potential future projects.

What are the recommendations resulting from this plan?

• Increase the promotion of Northmavine.
• Undertake a survey on visitors staying the Northmavine area with help from local accommodation providers.
• Create an interpretive centre group.
• Create an interpretive plan.
• Pursue accommodation development opportunities.
• Pursue the possibility of bringing the St Magnus Bay Hotel into community ownership and re-opening it.

Download the full Northmavine Tourism Action Plan 2007.

Project Background

At the end of 2005 the Northmavine Community Development Company held a well attended meeting at the new Braewick Café in Eshaness. Out of this meeting a Tourism sub-group was formed. The group consisted of local residents with an interest in tourism and those who own and work in small tourist related businesses in Northmavine. The members of the Group cover a wide geographical spread and have many different interests and roles with regard to tourism in the area.

Early on the Group realised that in order to see the whole picture they needed Ingrid Laurensonto collate all the different tourist data in the area and form this into an Action Plan. This was a major piece of work requiring a person with time to dedicate rather than relying on the efforts and perhaps exhausting a small number of volunteers. To this end the NCDC gained funding from Communities Scotland to employ a Tourism Support Worker to take the project forward. Ingrid Laurenson was employed in 2007 to work on the project and, in her time with the NCDC, worked towards the completion of the Action Plan. Ingrid has now moved on and many thanks to her for her work on the Tourism Plan.



Maree Hay is now Project Worker and included in her work will be the support of projects such as the redevelopment of Mavis Grind and establishing a core path network and walks in the area. Other projects that will be supported through the Tourism sub-group include helping the new Interpretive Centre Group to get up and running and the provision of nature hides.

Maree and the Tourism Group would be delighted to hear from anyone with an idea for tourism in the area or who can help with information.