Further call for Shetlanders to open their doors to visitors

The Tall Ships Races 2011 – Lerwick together with VisitScotland is calling for the people of Shetland to help deal with the expected influx of sailing enthusiasts and visitors to the Islands.

This year The Tall Ships Races will rely on local hosts to help provide accommodation for the influx of tourists to the Islands.  VisitScotland has joined forces with the organisers to create an arrangement whereby local residents can provide rooms for paying guests – bed and breakfast or self-catering style – for the duration of the four day event.

The organisers are hoping Shetlanders will open their homes to visitors to The Tall Ships Races 2011 - Lerwick which are presented by Szczecin, and organised by Sail Training International (www.sailtraininginternational.org). Interested hosts can register their home with VisitScotland free of charge.

VisitShetland’s Islands Manager, Steve Mathieson, explains:  “The Tall Ships Races 2011 - Lerwick is an exciting opportunity to showcase Shetland culture, not only raising the profile of Shetland but also encouraging many people to visit for the first time. This event will bring a wide range of benefits, including introducing visitors to the unique Shetland experience and encouraging them to visit the Islands again in the future, resulting in much longer term economic benefits for the area.”

"VisitScotland's Tourist Information Centre staff in Lerwick and Sumburgh will be working very hard, with the support of the local community, to ensure all visitors to the event are accommodated.  We know that The Tall Ships Races attract a lot of extra visitors at an already busy time of the year, which is why we’ve set up this temporary accommodation programme. For no cost, interested home owners will be able to open their homes to visitors and run a short term bed and breakfast or self-catering operation.”

This year’s Races have already attracted entries from countries including Norway, Poland, Denmark and the Netherlands and organisers anticipate up to 3,000 crew will take part in the Race festivities.

Fiona Dally, project manager of The Tall Ships Races 2011 – Lerwick, said:  “We are hoping that our hosts will help to create a lasting positive impression to all visitors of Shetland and its people; as well as having the opportunity to share their own knowledge and experiences of living and working in Shetland.”

Anybody interested in providing accommodation should call Robin Mouatt on 01595 693434 to register, or email Robin.Mouatt@visitscotland.com