Sustainability Policy


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.


Key Objectives


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 production

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 transport

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 Scotland.


3. Protect and enhance Scotland’s natural and cultural heritage

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 communities

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 all

We will help to improve the accessibility of tourism opportunities in Scotland, especially for disabled and economically disadvantaged persons.


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 tourism sector

We will integrate sustainability principles into all our activities and influence improvements in the tourism sector across Scotland.


8. Support adaptation to climate change in the tourism sector

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.


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