Visitor Attractions

 

Visitor Attraction Quality Assurance Grading Scheme

The VisitScotland Quality Assurance Grading Scheme for Visitor Attractions has been developed with three primary objectives:

  • To provide visitors with the means to identify Visitor Attractions which provide the desired quality of facilities and services.
  • To help attraction operators market themselves more effectively by providing an official independent endorsement of their Visitor Attraction and provide a business tool which supports achievement of excellence in quality.
  • To encourage and acknowledge improvements in standards throughout the industry.

The scheme is available for all types of Visitor Attractions or Activity Providers that offer a visitor experience.

 

Below you will find guidance notes on award bands and scoring and details of what is assessed during the Quality Assurance visit.

 

Designators and Guidance Notes for Visitor Attractions
  1. The visitor attraction designator covers a range of attractions and experiences including visitor centres, churches, distilleries, steam railways, children’s play centres and galleries.
  2. The castle designator covers castles that may be inhabited or ruined.
  3. The museum designator covers venues displaying artefacts of other significance.
  4. The historic house designator covers houses or palaces of historic significance.
  5. The historic attraction designator covers attractions of historical significance. May relate to a period of pre-history or early-history.
  6. The garden designator covers gardens which are open to the public.

PDF download image   Guidance notes for Visitor Attractions - size 2.26MB

 
Designators and Guidance Notes for Activity Centre and Leisure Centre
  1. The activity centre designator covers centre based activities, including soft play, arts and crafts, horse riding and golf ranges.
  2. The leisure centre designator covers leisure pools, swimming pools and sports centres.

Guidance notes are under review and will be available shortly. Please refer to the core guidance notes for Visitor Attractions.

 

Designators and Guidance Notes for Activity Provider

The activity provider designator covers adventure activities and extreme sports, including abseiling, kayaking and mountaineering.

 

Guidance notes are under review and will be available shortly. Please refer to the core guidance notes for Visitor Attractions.

 

Designators and Guidance Notes for Arts Venue

The arts venue designator covers theatre, art centres and performance venues. The assessment doesn't take into account the content of performances or events as this will vary.

 

Guidance notes are under review and will be available shortly. Please refer to the core guidance notes for Visitor Attractions.

 

Designators and Guidance Notes for Garden Centre

The garden centre designator covers retail outlets specialising in the sale of plants and gardening supplies.

 

Guidance notes are under review and will be available shortly. Please refer to the core guidance notes for Visitor Attractions.

 

Designators and Guidance Notes for Tourist Shop

The tourist shop designator covers retail outlets with an emphasis on Scottish crafts, produce and products.

 

Guidance notes are under review and will be available shortly. Please refer to the core guidance notes for Visitor Attractions.

 

Designators and Guidance Notes for Wildlife Experience

The wildlife experience designator covers a  variety of attraction types including wildlife visitor centres, boat trips, and walking tours which offer a nature-based experience with possibilities of viewing flora and fauna in a natural or protected environment.

 

Guidance notes are under review and will be available shortly. Please refer to the core guidance notes for Visitor Attractions.

 

Taste Our Best

Taste Our Best is VisitScotland's Quality Assurance food and drink scheme. In addition to recognising and raising quality standards, the scheme has been designed to stimulate the use and promotion of Scottish produce.

Visitor Attractions are eligible for the award and membership is free.

 

PDF document Taste Our Best criteria and guidance notes for visitor attractions - size 298kb

 

For further advice on how to promote the provenance of your food offer to help you achieve Taste Our Best see our Promoting Provenance guide:


PDF document Promoting Provenance - Visitor Attraction - size 2mb

 


 

Sustainability Assessment

According to our latest research over 94% of quality assured tourism businesses in Scotland are already implementing sustainability activity with most focusing on:

  • Promotion of natural and cultural heritage
  • Energy efficiency
  • Waste management

Attractions and Activity venue providers are required to implement at least 11 out of (up to) 38 sustainability actions which are reviewed to achieve the minimum standards for Quality Assurance.

 

PDF document Sustainability Actions for Visitor Attractions - size 236kb

 


 

Welcome Schemes

A range of Welcome Schemes has been developed by VisitScotland to complement our Quality Assurance Scheme. VisitScotland's Welcome Schemes recognise the efforts of quality assured businesses to cater for the needs of visitors with specific interests. Assessment is based on the provision of facilities and services and recognises efforts made by operators to provide for visitors.

 

Welcome Scheme participation is now part of the Quality Assurance Scheme at no additional cost. If you wish your grading to include any of the specific Welcome Schemes you must complete the application form and your advisor will check that you meet the criteria at the time of their visit.

 

View the Welcome Scheme criteria documents and application form.

 


 

Digital Review

A Digital Review is available free of charge to businesses that are part of our Quality Assurance scheme. A Digital Review is carried out by your VisitScotland Industry Relationship Manager and provides an overview of your website and, where possible, your website users with feedback about possible improvements and changes.

PDF document Digital Review - size 124kb

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