Skip to main content
Visit Scotland | Alba

The protection of your personal data is important to us. We aim to be open and transparent about what we do with your personal data.

We are currently in the process of updating our privacy policy and a revised version will be uploaded to the website in the new year.

1. Who we are and how to contact us?

Who are we?

VisitScotland is the national tourism organisation for Scotland. Our main aim is to contribute significantly to the advancement of Scottish tourism by giving it a real presence in the global marketplace and benefiting the whole of Scotland.


Contact us

Our contact details are: Waverley Court, 4 East Market Street, Edinburgh EH8 8BG.

We have appointed a data protection officer (“DPO”) who is responsible for overseeing questions in relation to our privacy policies. If you have any questions, including any requests to exercise your legal rights, please contact the DPO at:, by telephone: 0131 472 2222, or write to: Data Protection Officer, Waverley Court, 4 East Market Street, Edinburgh EH8 8BG.


Third-Party Links

Our website may include links to third-party websites. Clicking on those links may allow third parties to collect or share data about you. We do not control these third-party websites and are not responsible for their privacy statements. When you leave our website, we encourage you to read the privacy policy of every website you visit.

2. More information about your rights

Under data protection law, you have rights we need to make you aware of. The rights available to you depend on our reason for processing your personal data.


Request access to your personal data (commonly known as a “data subject access request”). This enables you to receive a copy of the personal data we hold about you. This right always applies, although there are some exemptions which means you may not always receive all the information we process.


Request correction of the personal data that we hold about you. This enables you to have any incomplete or inaccurate data we hold about you corrected, though we may need to verify the accuracy of the new data you provide to us. This right always applies.


Request erasure of your personal data. This enables you to ask us to delete or remove personal data in certain circumstances. You also have the right to ask us to delete or remove your personal data where you have successfully exercised your right to object to processing (see below), where we may have processed your information unlawfully or where we are required to erase your personal data to comply with local law. Note, however, that we may not always be able to comply with your request of erasure for specific legal reasons which will be notified to you, if applicable, at the time of your request.


Object to processing of your personal data where we are relying on a legitimate interest or the process forms part of our public task and there is something about your particular situation which makes you want to object to processing on this ground as you feel it impacts on your fundamental rights and freedoms. You also have the right to object where we are processing your personal data for direct marketing purposes. In some cases, we may demonstrate that we have compelling legitimate grounds to process your information which override your rights and freedoms.


Request restriction of processing of your personal data. This enables you to ask us to suspend the processing of your personal data in the following scenarios: (a) if you want us to establish the data’s accuracy; (b) where our use of the data is unlawful but you do not want us to erase it; (c) where you need us to hold the data even if we no longer require it as you need it to establish, exercise or defend legal claims; or (d) you have objected to our use of your data but we need to verify whether we have overriding legitimate grounds to use it.


Request the transfer of your personal data to you or to a third party. We will provide to you, or a third party you have chosen, your personal data in a structured, commonly used, machine-readable format. Note that this right only applies to automated information which you initially provided consent for us to use or where we used the information to perform a contract with you.


Withdraw consent at any time where we are relying on consent to process your personal data. However, this will not affect the lawfulness of any processing carried out before you withdraw your consent. If you withdraw your consent, we may not be able to provide certain products or services to you. We will advise you if this is the case at the time you withdraw your consent.

You can read more about your individual rights on the Information Commissioner's Office website.

VisitScotland tries to be as open as it can be in terms of giving people access to their personal information. Individuals can find out if we hold any personal information by making a data subject access request. You can request submit a subject access request to VisitScotland by emailing:


No fee usually required

You will not usually have to pay a fee to access your personal data (or to exercise any of the other rights). However, we may charge a reasonable fee if your request is clearly unfounded, repetitive or excessive. Alternatively, we could refuse to comply with your request in these circumstances.


What we may need from you

We may need to request specific information from you to help us confirm your identity and ensure your right to access your personal data (or to exercise any of your other rights). This is a security measure to ensure that personal data is not disclosed to any person who has no right to receive it. We may also contact you to ask you for further information in relation to your request to speed up our response.


Time limit to respond

We try to respond to all legitimate requests within one month. Occasionally it could take us longer than a month if your request is particularly complex or you have made a number of requests. In this case, we will notify you and keep you updated.

We keep our privacy policies under regular review and will place updated versions on our websites when changes are made. If there are substantive changes, we will also notify you when appropriate.  Our privacy policies were last updated on 22 November 2023.

If you are unhappy about the way we handle your information, please speak to our Data Protection Officer. You can also contact to the Information Commissioner’s Office at the contact details below:

Information Commissioner’s Office

Wycliffe House

Water Lane




Telephone: 0303 123 1113

3. What information we might collect about you?

Personal data, or personal information, means any information about an individual from which that person can be identified. It does not include data where the identity has been removed (anonymous data).

We may collect, use, store and transfer different kinds of personal data about you which we have grouped together in certain categories. Please take care when submitting information to us, particularly when completing free text fields or uploading content, documents and other materials.

Whenever you interact with us, you may be asked to provide us with information relating to you. The following types of data may be collected from you depending on the interaction we have with you:

  • Identity data: including name, username, title, marital status and date of birth, signature, job role/title, job description
  • Contact data: including billing address, delivery address, email address and telephone numbers, Skype, WhatsApp
  • Financial data: including bank account and payment card details
  • Transaction data: including details about payments to and from you and other details of products and services you have purchased from us
  • Technical data: includes internet protocol (IP) address, your login data, browser type and version, time zone setting and location, browser plug-in types and versions, operating system and platform and other technology on the devices you use to access this website
  • Enquiry data: includes data you provided us with when you contact us for customer service assistance or we contact you (by any means of communication including written communications or via our website(s), support forums, telephone, email, SMS, or our social media channels) or when you visit us at a public event, such as a trade show or exhibition or participate in one of our surveys, competitions or prize draws.

We may record all customer service communications and keep information about the particular communication, including your name, the product(s) you bought, the reason why you contacted us, and the advice we gave you so we can track the resolution of any customer service issues and for customer service training purposes

  • Profile data: including your username and password, purchases or orders made by you, your interests, preferences, feedback and survey responses.

We may also receive content that you choose to upload or post, such as your name, address, telephone number, email address, profile pictures, gender, date of birth, relationship status, interests and hobbies, educational details and employment details, product reviews, comments, photos and forum posts, or details of your interests and preferences that you choose to tell us about when, for example, selecting the services that you wish to receive (iKnow)

  • Usage data: including information about how you use our website, products and services, as well as the frequency and pattern of your service use
  • Marketing and Communications data: includes your preferences in receiving marketing from us and our third parties and your communication preferences.

There is also other information that we may collect, use, store and share that is not personal information, including:

Aggregated Data such as statistical or demographic data for any purpose. Aggregated Data may be derived from your personal information but is not considered personal information in law as this data does not directly or indirectly reveal your identity. For example, we may aggregate your Usage Data to calculate the percentage of users accessing our website. However, if we combine or connect Aggregated Data with your personal information so that it can directly or indirectly identify you, we treat the combined data as personal information, which will be used in accordance with this privacy notice.

Anonymised Data is the process of turning personal information into a form which does not identify individuals and where identification is not likely to take place.

Business data is any information relating to a business, such as the business address, financial information, business plans (these may contain elements of personal information)

4. How we get the information and why we have it?

Most of the personal information we process is provided to us directly by you.

We may collect information about you if:

  • You provide personal information to us when you visit one of our iCentres;
  • You visit one of our websites or enter your details on one of our websites through a webform, for example if you:
    • sign up to receive a newsletter
    • sign up to attend an event
    • request a weblisting
    • sign up to our quality assurance scheme or for a business development mission
    • create an account on one of our websites
  • You give us your business card or meet with one of our representatives at an event
  • You contact us by email, telephone, post or on social media
  • You submit a form or an enquiry / feedback on our website
  • You complete a survey
  • You contact us to seek information or advice as part of finding out how to manage the impact of coronavirus (Covid-19) on your business

We may also receive personal information directly or indirectly from other public sector bodies. We would have your personal information if you or your business has engaged with public sector partners and as part of the public sector partner’s and our public functions, they have shared your personal information with us. You can find out more about our public sector partners on the What information we might share with others.

We may receive personal information about you from various third-party sources such as publicly available sources (e.g. Companies House) social media (e.g. LinkedIn).

Data protection legislation states that we must have a legal basis in order to process your personal information. There are six lawful bases for processing personal data. The lawful basis we rely on for processing this information are:

Lawful basis What it means
Your consent You have given your consent to the processing of personal information for the specified purpose.
We have a contractual obligation Where you are in a contractual relationship, and we need to process personal information to allow us to perform the contract, or where you intend to enter into a contractual relationship with us.
We have a legal obligation Where we need to process personal information to comply with a legal obligation placed on us. 
We have a legitimate interest Where we process your data in a way in which you would reasonably expect us to
In the performance of a task which is in the public interest or in the exercise of our official authority Where we process your personal data in exercising our official function which is laid out in the Development of Tourism Act 1969
It is in your vital interests Where we need to process personal information to protect your life

Where we rely on your consent to process your data, you are free to unsubscribe at any time by clicking the unsubscribe link in any email you receive from VisitScotland or you can email us at When you unsubscribe, your email address will be retained on a system suppression list to ensure you no longer receive emails from VisitScotland.

5. What we do with the information?

We many use the information that you have given us in the following ways:

If you are a visitor/consumer to:

  • Make an accommodation booking for you in one of our iCentres.
  • Purchase a ticket or book an activity on your behalf, for example, transport, visitor attraction, guided tour, bus tour.
  • Respond to an enquiry from you by telephone, email or in person.
  • Make a purchase or process a refund in one of our iCentres.
  • Enter a prize draw.
  • Obtain your feedback via a survey.
  • Respond to feedback or a complaint which you have made in person, on the telephone, via our websites or via email.
  • Maintain safety and security at one of our premises via CCTV.
  • Enable you to create an account for you on one of our websites.
  • Sign up to receive one of our newsletters.
  • Comments in our visitor books in our iCentres.
  • Print off personal documents for you in one of our iCentres, for example, an accommodation booking or ticket.
  • Take photos or film footage on one of our premises.  You will always be asked for your permission.


If you are a business customer/industry stakeholder/media stakeholder or event attendee/presenter to:

  • Send you a publication, press release, newsletter or email communication.
  • Facilitate your attendance at an event, as a guest, participant, visitor, buyer, speaker or exhibitor.
  • Provide you with one of our products, for example Quality Assurance grading schemes, printed visitor guides etc.
  • Provide your business details to visitors/consumers, who may be interested in your products or services.
  • Provide your business details to other businesses, who may be interested in your products or services, for example, tour operators, public sector partners, local authorities, destination management organisations.
  • Provide your business with a weblisting on one of our websites.
  • Ask for your feedback via a survey.
  • Respond to feedback or a complaint which you have given us in person, on the telephone, via our websites or by email.
  • Enter you into a competition or prize draw.
  • Respond to a media enquiry.
  • Respond to an enquiry or application for funding or sponsorship.
  • Register you to the iKnow Partner programme.
  • Enable you to create an account on one of our websites.
  • Apply to become an influencer.
  • Apply to partner us via our events programme, Themed Years, etc.
  • Provide business advice and record communications and interactions with you to help you with your business enquiries.
  • Provide you with access to one of our industry programmes or training activities.
  • Enable you to create an account in our digital media library and upload/download an image, video or other digital asset.
  • Provide you with a media pack or logos in delivery of our events programme.
  • Communicate with you to approve the use of our logos in your marketing activity.
  • Communicate with you if you contact us via social media.
  • Provide information to students undertaking research.
  • Meet with you at events, meetings or exhibitions.
  • Follow up with you by email on information discussed at an appointment or at an event where you met a VisitScotland representative.
  • Take photos or film footage at one of our events or exhibitions; or record one of our online webinars (including for internal training sessions).
  • Maintain safety and security at one of our premises or events via CCTV.
  • Advertise your event or job opportunity on one of our websites.
  • Publicise one of our events or exhibitions.
  • Nominate yourself, your business or someone else for an award.
  • Ensure payment of monies owed by or to VisitScotland.
  • Prevent fraud and comply with HMRC, Scottish Government and other government agencies.
  • To assess your eligibility for and liaise with you about a familiarisation trip to Scotland. To understand the needs of your business and assess how they may be met
  • To work with our public sector partners to deliver comprehensive services for you and your business.
  • Improve the delivery of business support services to you when this occurs between our public sector partners.

6. What information we might share with others?

We may share your personal information with other organisations or individuals. For example:

  • We use service providers to process your personal information on our behalf. We make sure your personal information is looked after in accordance with data protection legislation and make sure they keep your information secure.
  • Professional advisers including lawyers, bankers, auditors and insurers who provide consultancy, banking, legal, insurance and accounting services.
  • Where we are required to share data with HM Revenue & Customs, Audit Scotland, regulators and other authorities by law who require reporting of processing activities in certain circumstances.
  • Destination management organisation, local authorities and Industry and Stakeholder groups.
  • Research partners.
  • Other public sector partners where we have a data sharing arrangement in place with them. Personal information will be shared with our public sector partners on the basis that either:
    • We have jointly determined the purpose and means of processing (joint controllers)
    • We process the same personal information but for different purposes (controllers in common)


Our Public sector partners (such as):

  • Audit Scotland
  • Highland and Islands Enterprise
  • Scottish Enterprise
  • Scottish Government
  • Scottish Development International
  • Business Gateway
  • Creative Scotland
  • Universities Scotland
  • Skills Development Scotland
  • South of Scotland Enterprise


To provide the best services possible on an international scale, we may also share your personal information with our third-party partners outside the European Economic Area. Where your personal information is transferred outside the EEA, we ensure a similar degree of protection is afforded to it by ensuring at least one of the following safeguards is implemented:

  • We will only transfer your personal information to countries that have been deemed to provide adequate level of protection for personal information by the European Commission.
  • Where we use certain service providers we may use specific contracts approved by the European Commission which give personal information the same protection it has in Europe.
  • Where we use providers based in the US we may transfer data to them if they are part of the Data Privacy Framework (DPF) Program which requires them to provide similar protection to personal information shared between Europe and the US.

7. How we store the information?

We have put in place appropriate security measures to prevent your personal data from being accidentally lost, used or accessed in an unauthorised way, altered or disclosed. In addition, we limit access to your personal data to those employees, agents, contractors and other third parties who have a business need to know or who have been selected by VisitScotland for the purposes of promoting your business and/or promoting tourism in Scotland. They will only process your personal data on our instructions and they are subject to a duty of confidentiality.

We have put in place procedures to deal with any suspected personal data breach and will notify you and any applicable regulator of a breach where we are legally required to do so.

Some of the steps we use to protect your information from unauthorised access, use or alteration and unlawful destruction, include where appropriate:

  • Using encryption when collecting or transferring sensitive information, such as credit card details.
  • Limiting access to the information we collect about you (for instance, only those of our personnel who need your information to carry out our business activities are allowed access).
  • Putting in place physical, electronic, and procedural safeguards in line with industry standards.

As general best practice on the Internet, it is recommended that individuals take great care with user accounts, and follow some basic rules:

  • Do not use trivial passwords (such as single dictionary words).
  • Do not use the same password for multiple accounts.
  • Do use very long passwords (at least 10 characters, but preferably much longer)
  • Do use passwords which contain a combination of upper and lower case letters, numbers and special characters e.g. $%^& etc.
  • Do keep passwords securely (never written down, or shared with anyone) and changed periodically.

We will only retain your personal data for as long as reasonably necessary to fulfil the purposes we collected it for, including for the purposes of satisfying any legal, regulatory, tax, accounting or reporting requirements. We may retain your personal data for a longer period where such retention is necessary for compliance with a legal obligation to which we are subject, or in order to protect your vital interests or the vital interests of another natural person, or in the event of a complaint, or if we reasonably believe there is a prospect of litigation in respect to our relationship with you.

In some cases it is not possible for us to specify in advance the periods for which your personal data will be retained. In such cases, we will determine the period of retention by taking into consideration the period necessary for retention for its lawful purpose.

In some circumstances you can ask us to delete your data: see ‘your rights’ for further information.

In some circumstances we will anonymise your personal data (so that it can no longer be associated with you) for research or statistical purposes, in which case we may use this information indefinitely without further notice to you.

8. Consequences of not providing personal information

If you do not accept the use of your personal information as outlined in this policy, we may not be able to assist you with your query or provide support and advice to your business. However, you will still be able to access the website and the information contained within it.

Related links