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Visit Scotland | Alba

Safeguarding Scotland’s assets

Scotland’s environment, society and culture are what sets us apart as a destination – they’re what makes a visit here so special. Our sustainability policy recognises that these assets are vital to Scottish tourism and sets out the measures we take to protect and enhance them for future generations to enjoy. 

We’re incredibly proud of what our country has to offer and aim to be known as a world-leader in sustainable tourism development. It’s our goal to reduce the environmental impact and maximise the economic and social benefits of our own operations. We build a better, more sustainable future for Scotland by taking direct action on issues we can help with and influencing the opinion and action of third parties such as strategic partners, businesses and visitors. 

We've listed the key objectives that we use to guide our vision, implemented through our activities internally as well as engaging with strategic partners, businesses and visitors. For an up to date view of how we’re driving sustainable tourism development, please read our annual sustainability report.

If you have any questions about our sustainability policy or actions we are taking please e-mail [email protected].

Key objectives

  • Minimise resource use and waste production

Take action to encourage reduced resource use and waste production, both from our internal operations and those of tourism businesses operating in Scotland, contributing to reduced carbon emissions and climate change impact.


  • Reduce the impact of transport

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, aiming to reduce carbon emissions, air pollution, and congestion.


  • Protect and enhance Scotland’s natural and cultural heritage

Promote Scotland’s natural and cultural heritage to visitors across all regions, with a consideration to carrying capacity to reduce negative impacts. Support the activities of organisations responsible for its protection and enhancement.


  • Enhance quality of life for Scottish communities

Support Scottish communities across all regions through promoting year-round tourism activity including local accommodation, events, attractions and products to visitors, conscious of varying carrying capacity of destinations. We will also advocate local engagement and empowerment in tourism planning and management and the wider community development process.


  • Improve the quality of tourism jobs

Support initiatives to improve the quality of jobs both across the tourism sector and as well as implement them within VisitScotland.


  • Make tourism in Scotland inclusive and available for all

Support the development of inclusive tourism in Scotland, which aims to create products and destinations where everyone feels welcome.


  • Support climate change mitigation and adaption in the tourism sector

Recognise the importance and urgency of addressing climate change and take action, not only to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (mitigation), but also to adapt to the unavoidable consequences of climate change and support tourism businesses and destinations to do the same.


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