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Visit Scotland | Alba

Guide to Information

The Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 gives everyone a right of access to information held by Scottish public bodies. This includes VisitScotland.

In complying with our duties under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act, we:

  • publish the classes of information that we make routinely available; and
  • tell the public how to access the information and what it might cost.

To make a request under Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act, please contact us by:

1. Introduction

1.1    The Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (the Act) gives a general right of access to all types of recorded information held by public authorities, sets out exemptions from that right and places a number of obligations on public authorities. Any person who makes a request to a public authority for information is entitled to receive that information, subject to exemptions.

1.2    Under Section 23 of the Act, VisitScotland must adopt and maintain a publication scheme setting out the information we routinely make publicly available. Our scheme has to be approved by the Scottish Information Commissioner, who is responsible for the enforcement of the Act. In addition, we have to review the scheme from time to time.

2. Model Publication Scheme

2.1    The Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 requires Scottish public authorities to produce and maintain a publication scheme. Authorities are under a legal obligation to:

  • Publish the classes of information that they make routinely available;
  • Tell the public how to access the information and what it might cost.

2.2    We've adopted the Model Publication Scheme 2015 (updated November 2018) produced by the Scottish Information Commissioner. The scheme has been approved until 31 May 2019. The Scheme is applicable to VisitScotland’s active subsidiaries, for which we have produced our 'One Guide to Information for our active/non-trading subsidiary companies' which:

  • Allows you to see what information is available (and what is not available) in relation to each class;
  • States what charges may be applied;
  • Explains how to find the information easily;
  • Provides contact details for enquiries and to get help with accessing the information;
  • Explains how to request information that has not been published.

2.3    Guidance on Model Publication Scheme 2015 (updated November 2018).

2.4    Our One Guide to Information for our active/non-trading subsidiary companies is available for download.

2.5    The publication scheme is not intended to be a complete list of all the information we hold. Anyone can use the Act to ask to see other information that is not listed in the publication scheme.

3. About VisitScotland

3.1    VisitScotland is the trading name for the Scottish Tourist Board which was established under the Development of Tourism Act 1969. We are a Non-Departmental Public Body (NDPB) funded primarily by grant-in-aid from the Scottish Executive Education Department. We are managed by a Board of Directors who are appointed through open competition by the Scottish Executive. The Board has responsibility for ensuring that the organisation complies with statutory and administrative requirements for the use of public funds. The Board is also responsible for establishing overall strategic direction within the policy and resources framework agreed with Scottish Ministers, and for overseeing delivery by monitoring performance against targets.

3.2    Our role at VisitScotland is to provide leadership, direction and support to the tourism industry, with the ultimate goal of generating jobs and wealth. We do so primarily by marketing Scotland both at home and overseas, but also by providing the industry with routes to market, offering the industry guidance and support to improve quality and service and promoting a greater understanding of the industry. Our aim is to make Scotland a must-visit, must-return destination where visitors’ needs come first and tourism makes a vital contribution to economic growth.

3.3    We champion socially, environmentally and culturally sustainable tourism and work closely as advisor to the Scottish Government delivering its tourism policy.

4. Formulating the Scheme

4.1    Section 23 of the Act provides that in adopting or reviewing its publication scheme the authority must have regard to the public interest in allowing public access to information about:

  • the services provided by the authority;
  • the costs of those services;
  • the standard attained by those services;
  • the facts which form the basis of decisions taken by the authority which are of importance to the public; and
  • the publication reasons for decisions made by it.

4.2    This publication scheme was drafted in full consultation with the VisitScotland Management Team and Board.

5. Responsibility for the Publication Scheme

5.1    Our main office address is: Waverley Court, 4 East Market Street, Edinburgh EH8 8BG

This is the address to which any documents or notices should be sent.

5.2    The senior manager responsible for maintaining this scheme is: Director of Corporate Services, VisitScotland, Sixth Floor, 90 St Vincent Street, Glasgow G2 5UB.

5.3    Our corporate website is: EventScotland’s corporate website is:

5.4    Requests for information should be submitted by

  • post, telephone, or in person to: FOI Requests, VisitScotland, Waverley Court, 4 East Market Street, Edinburgh EH8 8BG.
  • e-mail to:

6. Exemptions

6.1    All information included in this Scheme must be provided promptly on request (subject to the exemptions discussed in this section). The publication scheme lists information that we routinely make available but it does not limit your right to request any other information from VisitScotland. From 1 January 2005, the general entitlement to information under section 1 of the Act will enable any member of the public to make a request for information that is not in this Scheme.

6.2    VisitScotland’s aim is to be as open as possible. However, information may be withheld from any of the classes of information listed below where we consider that the disclosure may fall within one of the exemptions contained in the Act. For example, we may withhold information if its disclosure would breach the law of confidentiality or seriously prejudice the commercial interests of any person or organisation. We will also withhold information which is personal data under the Data Protection Act 1998.

6.3    Where we consider information to be exempt, we will withhold that information and indicate why it is being withheld. Even where an exemption exists, it may be possible to provide copies with the exempted information edited out.

6.4    If you wish to complain about information which is being withheld from you, please read the “complaints” section below (section 11)

7. Archiving Policy

7.1    This publication scheme lists information that is currently available from VisitScotland. We do not retain all documents and information indefinitely. From time to time we destroy items that are no longer required by statute or regulatory bodies, or that have ceased to have any relevance or purpose. Our policy for the retention and destruction of information is available through the publication scheme.

9. Accessing Information Under the Publication Scheme

9.1    Online: most information listed in our publication scheme is available from this website: Details of the relevant links which will take you to the page or document required are provided in the Guide to Information below.

9.2    By email: if the information you request is not available on the website, but is listed in our publication scheme, we will send it to you by email, wherever practicable. When requesting information, please include full contact details, including name, address and a telephone number so that we can telephone to clarify details, if necessary. Your email request can also be made to us in Gaelic.

9.3    By phone: information can be requested over the telephone. Please provide full contact details, including name, address and a telephone number, so that we can telephone to clarify any details, if necessary.

9.4    By post: all information is also available in a paper copy form. When requesting information, please include the following details: your name and address, the information or documents you want to see and any fee applicable (please see section 10 below). Please include a telephone number so that we can telephone to clarify details, if necessary. You can also make your request in Gaelic.

9.5    Personal visits: for some classes of information, you may need to make an appointment to view the information.

9.6    Requests for information should be submitted by:

  • post, telephone, or in person to: FOI Requests, VisitScotland, Waverley Court, 4 East Market Street, Edinburgh EH8 8BG.
  • e-mail to:

Similarly, if you have any difficulty determining the information you want to see, please contact the Government and Parliamentary Affairs Manager, who will be happy to help.

10. Charging Policy

10.1    We will try to make as much information as possible available free of charge. Where a cover charge applies to information held in printed format, this is clearly stated in the publication scheme and this cover charge will be applied.

10.2    Access to all other information listed in the scheme is free. However, where the cost of providing information accrues to more than £100 (taking into account both staff time and associated direct and indirect costs) a charge may be made for any sum over and above £100. Staff time will be charged on the basis of an hourly rate of pay. Photocopying charges will be based on a charge of 25p per copy page.

10.3    If, over a 12-month period, an individual or organisation makes requests for information which total over £500 cumulatively, a charge may be made, using the same basis as outlined above.

10.4    Charges will be made at the discretion of VisitScotland.

10.5    We will not make any charge for providing information stored and delivered via our internet site or via email. There may be a charge to cover the cost of providing information on disc or CD.

10.6    There is no charge for inspecting documents within VisitScotland’s offices. There may, however, be a charge for providing you with photocopies of the document: where the cost of photocopying accrues to more than £100, a charge of 25p per copy page for each additional page will be made for information provided in hard copy.

11. Complaints

11.1    If you wish to comment on this scheme or if you require assistance or need to make a complaint, then you should contact:

Please note you can also make your complaint in Scottish Gaelic.

11.2    If you are unable to resolve any complaint, you can complain to the Scottish Information Commissioner who oversees the Act and whose contact details are below. From 1 January 2005, when the general right of access comes into force, there will be a formal appeal mechanism when information is withheld. Further details on this will be available on the Commissioner’s website at before this date. The contact details for the Commissioner are as follows:

Scottish Information Commissioner, Kinburn Castle, Doubledykes Road, St Andrews, Fife KY16 9DS

Tel: 01334 464610 Email:


12. Statutory duty

12.1    As part of our statutory duty we are required to review our publication scheme periodically. VisitScotland welcomes feedback on how we can develop our scheme further. If you want to make any comments about the publication scheme or if you require any assistance please contact:

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