Today (22 March) we’ve announced a responsible tourism campaign to highlight the importance of exploring Scotland responsibly. Our campaign aims to address some of the issues experienced last year, when we saw a rise in domestic visitors who sought to discover and enjoy Scotland’s countryside.
As more people enjoy the outdoors as the weather improves, and as lockdown restrictions gradually ease, our campaign calls for visitors to be considerate of the impact that our visits can have on the landscapes, wildlife and communities that Scotland’s famed for.
Our £124,000 campaign calls on people to respect, protect and enjoy Scotland. We’re extending the message through a responsible tourism film and script which will be broadcast across radio, YouTube, Facebook and Instagram. This will also be reflected by billboard and outdoor digital screen (out of home) advertising in all of Scotland’s main cities.
Through this activity we aim to encourage behaviour change but ultimately, we want to encourage the long-term re-building of a more responsible future for Scotland’s tourism sector. #RespectProtectEnjoy
To compliment the campaign, we’ve created a dedicated responsible tourism page on our consumer site VisitScotland.com, responsible tourism itineraries for the travel trade and practical information and advice for Scotland’s tourism sector.
For the first time, we’ll be using social media platform TikTok to reach a younger audience. We’re working with social media influencers The Hebridean Baker and On the Road Again Travels to produce inspirational content to educate and reach this audience.
The activity supports the visitor management strategy which was announced by Cabinet Secretary for Rural Economy and Tourism, Fergus Ewing on Friday 19 March. Find out more about the strategy which asks visitors to protect our countryside, respect the local communities, wildlife and landscapes while enjoying Scotland's natural beauty.
Scotland, Yours to Enjoy. Responsibly
One of the films available on our Digital Media Library is "Scotland, Yours to Enjoy. Responsibly" which inspires viewers to enjoy Scotland, while being considerate of the landscape, wildlife and communities around them.
Share this film across your social media channels and be sure to include #RespectProtectEnjoy and tag us @VisitScotland.
Our campaign is part of the Visitor Management Strategy and Steering Group, led by the Scottish Government and VisitScotland. This includes three workstream groups with focus on Education and Marketing, Investment and Infrastructure, and Prevention, Regulation & Reassurance.
We lead the Education and Marketing Group, and work in collaboration with a number of partner organisations; Cairngorms Business Partnership, Cairngorms National Park Authority, Forestry & Land Scotland, Keep Scotland Beautiful, Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park, Lochaber Chamber, National Park Authorities, NatureScot, Scottish Tourism Alliance (STA), Wild Scotland and Zero Waste Scotland.
Though not exhaustive, some issues we've been addressing together in the past year include:
Littering – dropping and leaving litter, leaving camping equipment, broken glass
Environmental damage and fire hazards – damaging fences and signage; lighting fires in unauthorised locations or in unsafe ways, felling trees, damaging surrounding wildlife and risking spread of wildfires
Unsafe waste disposal – people not using designated toilets or appropriate facilities and leaving waste outdoors
Poor preparation – a lack of understanding of rapid weather change and challenging terrains, sometimes resulting in visitors getting into trouble or requiring assistance
Traffic and inappropriate parking - increased demand on hot spots, parking in passing places or areas that are not safe or block access to land managers or residents.
This campaign is hugely important particularly at this time, as we are all enjoying outdoors more due to restrictions to other sections of the tourism industry. It's imperative that we realise the impact of our visits on these areas and our individual and collective responsibility to care for Scotland.
We want to protect the stunning landscapes and wildlife that Scotland is famous for and the local communities that are such an important part of our culture. We are asking everyone to help keep Scotland special by ensuring we protect our natural resources by being responsible and respectful when out and about.
We have a unique opportunity to positively engage audiences to enjoy the outdoors responsibly and come together to develop a Scotland-wide strategic and coordinated approach to help protect what’s there for future visitors and aid the recovery of our rural economy.
Keep the conversation going
The simplest way for you to get involved in the campaign is to share the assets (e.g. films, content, images) on your social media channels. Use the #RespectProtectEnjoy hashtag and use #VisitScotland and #OnlyinScotland to make your posts more discoverable. Tag us @VisitScotland in your content so we can see them too.
You can also access the campaign assets by searching "responsible tourism" on our Digital Media Library and take a look a wide range of resources we've pulled together to help you get involved.
We need you to help spread the message. The more we all talk about it; the more people will hear about it. Let's help visitors enjoy Scotland responsibly.