Tourism is an economic and social powerhouse for Scotland. It creates wealth and social benefits in every corner of the country and enhances the wellbeing of everyone who takes a holiday at home.
But it is much more than a holiday – it is a force for good, providing opportunities for all, helping to tackle everything from depopulation to mental health issues and providing a ripple effect which supports other businesses in the local community.
We won't just push a button and see tourism recover – we've had a year of very little investment, job losses and lots of businesses have been forced to close. It will take years and significant investment for the industry to recover.
At VisitScotland, we want to remind everyone how important tourism is to the economy, to the wellbeing of our country and the development of a sustainable future. So, now is the time to start shouting about tourism being a force for good. Join us in telling the world how brilliant this industry is, share our stories and share on social media using #tourismforceforgood.
The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has meant we've had a year of very little investment, job losses and lots of businesses have been forced to close. We know it’s a long road to recovery. However, there is light at the end of the tunnel, and we've pulled together some business case studies to shine that spotlight on the businesses, towns and initiatives that are showing innovation and growth in these tough times.
Innerleithen, Scottish Borders
The Hub on the High Street is one of the many new businesses in Innerleithen which is know as one of the best places in the world for mountain biking. Read how the town is adapting following a surge in investment and innovation.
The town of Sandwick, Shetland, already knows how to showcase its heritage which is popular with visitors, but is adapting and preparing for the future. Read our case study on the ways that Sandwick is attracting visitors and creating jobs.
Under Canvas, Inverness
Under Canvas is an initiative driven out of a gap in the summer events calendar, created to showcase Scottish music to a new and diverse audience. Read how Under Canvas is 'raring to go' since reopening.
For Forth Bike, the pandemic has brought opportunities and growth – especially with mental health and wellbeing a key consideration for both locals and visitors. Read how Forth Bike is capitalising on the wellness trend going forward.
Isle of Raasay Distillery
The award-winning Isle of Raasay Distillery in the Inner Hebrides work closely with other local businesses and has become embedded in the island’s tight-knit community. Read how the Isle of Raasay Distillery is bringing job opportunities and tackling de-population on the island.
The Macallan Estate
The £140 million Macallan Estate was completed in 2018 but continues to invest and develop its product offering. Read how the Macallan Estate is committed to local employment and growth.
The Whithorn Trust
The Whithorn Trust was set up in 1986 following an archaeological excavation at Whithorn in Dumfries & Galloway. Read about the Whithorn Trust and how they work with local young people to develop key skills and develop a connection with the local community.
Economic benefits of tourism
In the face of a changing economic climate it's important that everyone in tourism works together to identify and realise the opportunities available to deliver sustainable economic growth now and in the future. We know that tourism is more than a holiday.
Our purpose is to grow and develop the sustainable economic benefit of tourism to Scotland’s visitor economy. And with #tourismforceforgood we want to highlight the economic benefits of tourism including job creation, tourism spend and investment.
We’ve been looking at the latest regional factsheets for each of our regions and have created ‘postcards’ with the key figures showing the value of tourism to our economy. These handy postcards are easy to use on your social media channels or websites, or for your own reference. They've been added to our Digital Media Library which you can register to for free. Simply login and search "Tourism a force for good" to access them.
Wellbeing benefits of tourism
Tourism provides opportunities for all and is the catalyst for job creation and entrepreneurialism. And while the wellness trend was growing before the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the events of the last year have raised awareness of the importance of wellbeing, both physically and mentally.
We have seen businesses adapt and develop new, innovative wellness products to encourage visitors to enjoy our natural landscapes, peaceful rural areas, and our green urban spaces.
Tourism will help to rebuild the Scottish population’s wellbeing – everyone needs a holiday and Scotland will be their first choice. We’ve pulled together some useful statistics showing the impact of the pandemic on growth in the wellness tourism sector.
Our Insight team has published a topic paper The emotional benefits of tourism and the role of travel in the pandemic recovery which looks at the long-established relationship between tourism and wellbeing. Alongside tourism's emotional benefits, it looks at the recent trends, consumer insights and practical actions businesses can adopt.
Also, take a look at our paper on The role of wellness in the visitor experience which provides useful insight into what wellness actually means and what visitors are looking for in a wellness holiday/experience.
Industry thought pieces
Our Chief Executive, Malcolm Roughead, has written though pieces about the economic, social and wellbeing opportunities that arise from tourism. Read his thoughts on how we need to restart the industry with a responsible view in mind and how we cannot get away from the fact that tourism is a force for good. You can read some of his recent blogs on our LinkedIn page:
- 12 May | Scottish spirit to aid recovery
- 20 May | Tourism is a force for good
- 02 June | Let’s remind everyone how important our industry is