On Thursday 14 October, we hosted the third virtual national visitor management summit, where we were joined by the Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Economy, Kate Forbes. The event saw around 90 key stakeholders from across Scotland attend to hear more about our partnership approach to visitor management in Scotland.
The event included presentations from key visitor management partners on the successes of activity, learnings from 2021 and future plans. This included details of VisitScotland’s responsible tourism marketing activity and Rural Tourism Infrastructure Fund.
Presentations were also provided by representatives covering the six priority focus areas:
- Both of Scotland’s National Parks
- North Coast 500
- Pentland Hills Regional Park
- Highland Perthshire
- East Lothian coastline
Scotland’s visitor management partners are co-ordinated under the Visitor Management Steering Group, chaired by VisitScotland. We have been working together to deliver solutions to challenges across Scotland associated with irresponsible behaviour in the outdoors.
Our collaborative approach is focused on successful visitor management of hotspots. Activity to achieve this includes strategic promotion of different areas, encouraging responsible behaviour, improved visitor infrastructure (e.g. campsites, toilets, litter collection and signage), liaison with the public through rangers or other on-site staff and, where necessary, enforcement.
This collective action has led to positive results, as well as learnings, across the country. We’ll now be working to build on what has been achieved in 2020 and 2021 to improve the experience further for everyone next summer.
Visitors will play a key role in the recovery of the tourism sector, however, we want everyone to enjoy Scotland’s outdoors in a responsible way. It’s important we achieve a careful balance between business recovery, job creation and ensuring that communities don’t feel their vital resources are being threatened.