Corporate Plan and Operational Plan


Tourism at the Heart of Scotland's Economy


Tourism is a key component of Scotland’s economy as demonstrated in its status as one of Scotland’s Growth Sectors. In 2015, spending by tourists in Scotland generated around £11 billion of economic activity in the wider Scottish supply chain and contributed around £6 billion to Scottish GDP (in basic prices). This represented about 4.5% of total Scottish GDP. According to the Scottish Government’s Growth Sector definition of Tourism, Gross Value Added (GVA) in the sector was estimated to be almost £3.7 billion in 2014, up from £3.5 billion in 2013. It is worth noting the GVA contribution of tourism has increased 41% since 2008 from £2.6 billion. This is the largest growth in GVA amongst all Growth Sectors – 10% more than the nearest competitor (Life Sciences) – over the same period.


The sector is a major economic enabler contributing to the business base and employment levels, across a wide range of geographies and demographics. Employment in the tourism-related industries sector (as measured by the Scottish Government’s Tourism Growth Sector) in Scotland was 217,000 in 2015 – accounting for around 8.5% of employment in Scotland. Related to this, there are approximately 14,000 tourism businesses across Scotland (8.2% of all Scottish businesses).


At VisitScotland we believe that tourism is at the heart of economic success in Scotland. We play a vital part in contributing to tourism’s economic achievements – as demonstrated by some of our 2015/16 net direct economic impact (NEI) results:

  • Our consumer marketing activity added £72m NEI to Scotland’s economy
  • EventScotland supported events contributed £202 NEI across the economy  
  • Three of our Route Development  supported routes in 2015/16 will result in £25M NEI within one year of launch
  • £38m NEI resulting from conferences secured through National Conference Bid Fund since launch
  • It is estimated VisitScotland expo 2016 will result in £15.7m of Scottish programme and product sales globally
  • Our Quality Assurance Schemes contribute £20m in NEI to Scotland’s economy.

Our Corporate Plan 2013 - 2017


VisitScotland's Corporate Plan directly supports the Scottish Government’s Economic Strategy and outlines what we intend to do to contribute to the government’s purpose to increase sustainable economic growth.

In the face of a changing and turbulent economic and operating environment it is important that everyone involved in tourism works in partnership to identify and realise the opportunities which exist to deliver sustainable economic growth now and in the future.

VisitScotland’s purpose is to grow and develop the sustainable economic benefit of tourism to Scotland’s visitor economy. 


Our Core Objective


Our core objective is to contribute to the Tourism 2020 Strategy ambition of growing tourism revenues by £1bn by 2020. To deliver our core objective we will adopt seven strategies:

  1. Marketing: we will market Scotland and its outstanding assets to visitors from all parts of the world, including the promotion of Scotland to people living in Scotland to visit different parts of the country.

  2. Events: we will support the national events strategy and its delivery, and sustain, develop and promote Scotland’s international profile as one of the world’s foremost events destinations.

  3. Internationalisation and International Engagement: we will utilise all our platforms to enable Scottish based tourism businesses to better understand international opportunities and market to a global audience and we will work within One Scotland Partnerships to optimise the potential of Scotland’s Diaspora and our strategic partners at regional, European and global levels.

  4. Customer Experience: we will provide information and inspiration to visitors both locally and globally via their preferred medium of choice.

  5. Quality and Sustainability: we will provide support and advice to businesses, with the goal of improving the quality and sustainability of the tourism sector in Scotland. We will provide quality assurance to visitors through our Quality Schemes. 

  6. Inclusive Tourism: we will strive to make tourism in Scotland inclusive and available to all.

  7. Working in Partnership: we will listen to and work with the industry, partners and communities to shape our offering and support.

Our Corporate Plan outlines what we will do and how we will achieve our corporate objectives.


PDF document VisitScotland's Corporate Plan 2017 - 2020 


PDF document Plana Coporra VisitScotland 2013 - 2016 (2015 revision) 


If you require this publication in an alternative format please contact Lynne Raeside to discuss your needs.



Our Operational Plan 2014-2015


Our Operating Plan covers the operations of VisitScotland for 2014-2015. It provides the detail of how we deliver the second year of our activities outlined in our Corporate Plan 2013-2016.


Specifically the Operational Plan sets out the key activities required to realise our corporate objectives, along with clear responsibilities, timescales and respective budgets. Progress will be measured through our Key Performance Indicators and our Board will receive regular progress updates throughout 2014-15.


PDF document VisitScotland's Operational Plan 2014 - 2015



VisitScotland Economic Measurement Framework 


PDF document VisitScotland Economic Measurement Framework (2016)



Letter of Strategic Guidance from Scottish Ministers


PDF document Letter of 8 March 2017


Delivering for tourism Image of front cover of document VisitScotland activity highlights VisitScotland activity
Working for Us VisitScotland employees Job vacancies at VisitScotland Vacancies
Holidays in Scotland People Link to VisitScotland's Holiday site Holiday Information