We want to make sure Scotland’s natural beauty is preserved for future generations. This means driving positive economic recovery from COVID-19 while ensuring people act in a responsible way, minimising any negative impacts.
Although most people treat Scotland’s open spaces, coasts and waters, and communities with respect, there are a small minority who are acting in an irresponsible and anti-social way. This undermines the behaviour of the majority with potentially damaging long-term consequences.
Working alongside partner organisations across Scotland, we've been using our channels to discourage this behaviour and inform people on how to be a responsible visitor. This activity has included our own visitor charter, providing information on our website and amplifying other organisations' campaigns which align with our vision.
Your business can also help spread the word to visitors in your local area, and we've pulled together links to various campaigns that you can get involved in, on this page.
Case studies | responsible tourism
Dumfries House | case study
Dumfries House, a visitor attraction located close to Cumnock in East Ayrshire, runs an extensive educational programme focused on community engagement and sustainability. From an on-site education farm to a community fridge, find out more about their activity that puts visitors and the community at the heart of what they do.
Rabbie's | case study
Rabbie's offer small group tours in minicoaches. Tours show visitors a mix of major sights as well as off the beaten track destinations across Scotland. Using only locally-owned services and facilities on their tours, guides are also trained to communicate 'leave no trace' advice to customers. Take a look at Rabbie’s ethos, to help protect and preserve Scotland’s natural and built environment.
Glengoyne Distillery | case study
Glengoyne Distillery offers a range of tour and whisky tasting experiences, in the beautiful setting of Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park. The distillery is committed to contributing positively to the natural environment, through establishing their own wetlands, installing beehives and using 100% renewable power.
Glenuig Inn | case study
Glenuig Inn, located on the Sound of Arisaig, was renovated 12 years ago with sustainability at its heart and the vision to prove it was possible to run a leisure and tourism business efficiently and profitably with minimal environmental footprint. Find out more about Glenuig Inn's sustainability commitment.
Nithbank Country Estate | case study
Take at look at our case study on Nithbank Country Estate, award winning five star country house B&B in Dumfries & Galloway, that has an exceptional commitment to responsible tourism. The business places particular importance on working with the local community and wildlife conservation.
Share the #RESPECTPROTECTENJOY message
Keep Scotland Beautiful’s ‘Give your litter a lift, take it home!’ campaign which is supported by a number of key partners, is targeting roadside litter and asks people to #GiveYourLitterALift! Take action and offer your business or organisation’s voice to supporting it too – there are campaign materials you can view, share, download and order including posters, social media cards, videos and window stickers.
Scotland’s tourism and hospitality businesses are invited to learn more about support for a Green Recovery from COVID-19 at the official Green Key Scotland online launch event taking place on 8 September. Visit their website to find out more and register your place.
Zero Waste Scotland’s ‘Scotland is Stunning – Let’s Keep It That Way’ campaign urges visitors not to spoil Scotland’s natural beauty and wildlife by littering when they’re enjoying the delights of our coast, countryside and campsites. Backed by the Scottish Government and Keep Scotland Beautiful, it asks people to leave areas in the original pristine state they found them and #BinYourLitter or take it home. Show your support by downloading campaign posters and social media assets to share on your social channels and in your local community.
Mountaineering Scotland’s #TakItHame campaign urges the hill walking, climbing and mountaineering community to think twice about what they take to the hills with them and avoid leaving any litter on their journeys, but also, if they find litter to pick that up as well. It has lots of tips on how to do this safely – using pickers, gloves, hand sanitiser – as well as posters for businesses that cater for this particular visitor to display on their premises and a #TakItHame video that can be shared on your social media channels.
The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service want everyone to have an enjoyable and ‘Safer Summer’. It has a raft of information available, whether you’re off camping or caravaning in the countryside, barbecuing with friends or enjoying a picnic with the family, it has simple steps that you can share to help your visitors protect themselves from danger. Assets they have available to use by businesses also include a new tent safety poster that is perfect for displaying if you run a camp site or area where people camp. And if you manage a caravan site, there is a new caravan safety poster which is worth reading and printing for display.
Share the water safety message
Water safety is vitally important. The RNLI campaign delivered in partnership with HM Coastguard, highlights the need to be conscious in and on the water. With temperatures still lethally cold, despite warmer weather during the summer months, and the sea’s unpredictable waves and rip currents, the RNLI asks parents to stay by their children’s side at all times. If you’re a business close to or by the sea, share the RNLI’s life saving tips and ‘float to live’ video on your social media as well as use the #BeBeachSafe hashtag.
Scottish Water is highlighting the importance of being responsible and not taking any risks when enjoying the beautiful spots around Scotland’s reservoirs, rivers and lochs. Although inviting to cool down on a warm day, reservoirs in particular hold many hidden dangers. Scottish Water’s ‘Take Care Be Aware’ leaflet can be printed and displayed in your shop/business to give your customers if they are planning a visit to a reservoir, or need information about group access, facilities, restrictions and best practice for boating and fishing.
The Marine Conservation Society has a number of campaigns and appeals that focus on protecting our coasts, shorelines and the wildlife that live in those precious habitats around Scotland. Nearly five million tonnes of plastics have been dumped into the ocean so far this year (as at 12 Aug 2020). Businesses and organisations can play their part in reducing this down by getting involved in the #PlasticChallenge. Sign up and set your business a target to cut down on plastic use and the level you offer your customers, as well as share the message not to discard plastics on your social channels using the hashtag.
Safety around our famous landscapes
Promoting mountain safety
People often don’t realise the dangers of Scotland’s hills, Munros and mountains. Mountaineering Scotland has lots of useful resources for people who are inexperienced walkers which will mean visitors will get so much more pleasure and satisfaction from their trips. If you’re a business that caters for or has links with walkers in any way, share these links and information on your social media channels or make sure you have information displayed on your premises.
Stay the Night trial
Forestry & Land Commission’s ‘Stay the Night’ is a trial initiative which looks to help self-contained motorhomes and campervan on longer journeys around Scotland with an informal overnight stop-over place at a small selection of its carparks. Running until the end of August only, it has helped relieve visitor pressures in key locations during the busy holiday season as campsites and caravan grounds have emerged from lockdown and restarted their businesses. Participating car parks have limited, if any, facilities and cannot be booked in advance
Sharing information on COVID-19 measures
It's important that your customers are fully informed of the measures in place to keep them safe while visiting your business or attraction. NHS inform is being regularly updated with the latest clinically approved guidance in partnership with Health Protection Scotland. It has therefore created a range of materials to communicate this information to the public. These range from:
- FACTS posters, leaflets, infographics and animations for a number of areas – including retail, travel, return to work.
- Outdoor hospitality posters.
- Public toilet posters.
These are regularly reviewed and updated.