The purpose of VisitScotland, the national tourism organisation,
is to grow and develop the sustainable economic benefit of tourism
to Scotland’s visitor economy.
We understand the success of Scotland’s tourism industry rests
not only on its economic competitiveness but also on protecting and
enhancing the Scottish environment, society, and culture, which are
vital to the brand, the industry, and sustaining Scotland’s
economic growth. We are committed to ensuring that our natural and
built environment, upon which tourism within Scotland is so
dependent, is safeguarded for future generations to enjoy.
As an organisation, we aim to be recognised as a leader in
sustainable tourism development, not just within Scotland but at a
European and World level.
We aim to make VisitScotland the sustainable national tourism
organisation, recognised for our efforts to reduce the
environmental impact and maximise the economic and social benefits
of our own operations. VisitScotland will contribute to a more
sustainable future for Scotland through taking direct action on
issues under our control and playing an influencing and supporting
role where this is not possible, through engagement with strategic
partners, businesses and visitors.
We incorporate the principles of our sustainability policy into
day to day operations, developing appropriate procedures, annual
targets and a supporting action plan, demonstrating a commitment to
a sustained a program of continuous improvement.
The annual targets and action plan is reviewed regularly and
formally reported on through an Annual Sustainability Report.
To support our vision and meet our commitment we have eight key
sustainability objectives, which we implement through our internal
operations, as well as engagement with strategic partners,
businesses and visitors:
1. Minimise resource use and waste
We will take action to encourage reduced resource use and waste
production, both from our internal operations and those of tourism
businesses operating in Scotland.
2. Reduce the impact of tourism
Our efforts will focus on promoting a shift towards more
environmentally friendly forms of transport (train, coach/bus,
ferry, cycle, foot) both to and within tourism destinations in
3. Protect and enhance Scotland’s natural and
We will promote Scotland’s natural and cultural heritage to
visitors and support the activities of organisations responsible
for its protection and enhancement.
4. Enhance quality of life for Scottish
We will support Scottish communities through promoting year-
round tourism activity including local accommodation, events,
attractions and products to visitors. We will also advocate local
engagement and empowerment in tourism planning and management and
the wider community development process.
5. Make holidays in Scotland available for
We will help to improve the accessibility of tourism
opportunities in Scotland, especially for disabled and economically
6. Improve the quality of tourism jobs
We will support initiatives to improve the quality of jobs both
across the tourism sector and within VisitScotland.
7. Promote the integration of sustainability in the
We will integrate sustainability principles into all our
activities and influence improvements in the tourism sector across
8. Support adaptation to climate change in the
We will take action not only to reduce our greenhouse gas
emissions, but also to adapt to the unavoidable consequences of
climate change and support tourism businesses and destinations to
do the same.