Date Created: 15 March 2011
It may be a tiny part of the world, but the Shetland Islands, off the northeast coast of Scotland, has seen its reputation soaring after being named as one of the world’s top ten tourist regions.
The Shetlands have the third largest island in Scotland, and the fifth in the British Isles. It’s one of the country’s most picturesque spots, with beautiful countryside that makes it “the last untamed corner of the UK” according to the Lonely Planet Guide, which has ranked it sixth in the world.
The Shetland Islands are known for their varied wildlife and rich flora, and the local economy is grounded ion fishing, agriculture, aquaculture and the oil and gas industries.
The Lonely Planet Guide describes Shetland Islanders as “a fiercely independent and self reliant bunch, living in an area where it is easy to spot whales, otters, seals and puffins.”
Travel operators in Shetland are delighted by the honour. “I’m delighted that the travel experts recognised the strength of Shetland’s unparalleled tourism offering,” said Steve Mathieson, manager of Scotland’s national tourism organisation, VisitScotland.
Reports suggest tourism in Shetland Islands contributes about £76 million to the Scottish economy. With its new recognition as the world’s sixth best region, islanders will be hoping for a further boost on their local economy.