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Visit Scotland | Alba
Article published 24/03/2021

The First Minister has announced a new £25 million tourism recovery programme.

The recovery proposals were developed by the Scottish Tourism Emergency Response Group (STERG) in collaboration with members of the Tourism Task Force and represent initiatives which are over and above the scope of current public agency funding.

It is the recommendation of STERG and the Tourism Task Force that these proposals will not only accelerate recovery in the short term, allowing tourism to once again contribute to communities and to the economy of Scotland, but will provide the foundation for a sustainable recovery of Scottish tourism in the medium to long term, setting us back on track towards the ambitions of Scotland Outlook 2030.

VisitScotland plays a key role in delivering the new programme with six out of 10 of the proposals led by us. We thought it would be useful to outline the phase one recovery projects.

VisitScotland is focused on the recovery of the industry, building a destination and visitor experience which allows tourism and events to flourish now and in the future.

We won't just push a button and tourism will recover – we've had a year of very little investment, job losses and business closures – it will take time and significant investment to get us back to a thriving industry. With the right support tourism and events can lead the economic recovery and boost inward investment where it’s needed most.

We welcome the announcement for additional funding to support a range of recovery initiatives including additional investment for domestic and international marketing.

There’s big investment against international demand which will allow us to scale our international marketing efforts to ensure that Scotland remains a must visit destination, raising awareness of Scotland in our key markets, increasing consideration of holidays in Scotland and making sure that when the time is right we can convert that interest into bookings.

Vicki Miller, Director of Marketing & Digital, VisitScotland

Phased approach

A phased approach is being taken in order to meet specific timescales set by the Scottish Government.

Phase one: A set of priority recovery proposals which outline the immediate support required from Scottish Government in the coming six months to two years. This is over and above the urgent need for ongoing business support to ensure business survival.

Phase two: A five-year recovery plan which includes a further set of proposals, accompanied by proposed investment models. Proposals will reflect both short term proposals to support immediate recovery within the next two years, and medium-term proposals to support recovery within two to five years. Submission end of May 2021.

Phase three: review, adjust, develop and build the Recovery Plan to reflect the changing landscape.


Delivering a tourism recovery and investment plan will deliver benefits which underpin the four key outcomes identified in Scotland Outlook 2030:

  • A more resilient, agile sector capable of managing future shocks and change, building longer term sustainability and profitability.
  • A greener low carbon exemplar sector which delivers tangible community and social benefit, creating and developing sustainable destinations.
  • Skilled sustainable workforce with improved employee working conditions built on fair work principles creating a committed, diverse and valued workforce.
  • A globally recognised sector – considered world class in key sectors and providing the very best, authentic and memorable experiences.

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