Skip to main content
Visit Scotland | Alba

About the Fund

Coronavirus (COVID-19) has forced a monumental shift in the tourism industry and as we map our recovery, we must recognise that we are now operating in a new tourism landscape. 

With constantly evolving international travel restrictions, stimulating domestic visitor demand and extending the season where possible are crucial to Scotland’s immediate tourism recovery.

The objective of the Destination & Sector Marketing Fund is to encourage destination and sector groups to collaborate to develop strong visitor propositions that are reflective of identified post-COVID-19 trends.

These should also be promoted in a responsible way, using targeted campaign activity in the UK and Ireland market, inclusive of the local and day visits market. 

By marketing visitor experiences that are aligned to what consumers are looking for in this ‘new’ world and aligning them to the latest consumer trends, it will help to ensure a sustainable recovery going forward. 

The total value of the Fund is £3 million. This Fund is part of a wider Scottish Government support package linked to the Tourism Task Force Recovery plan and is being delivered by VisitScotland. 

Who can apply?

The Destination & Sector Marketing Fund is open to applications from destination and sectoral groups across Scotland. The Fund will operate across three tiers. Please see the guidance document for full details on eligibility requirements for each tier. 

Tier one

City Region Award Programme 
Awards between £50,000 - £100,000 

Tier two 

Pan-Scotland Sector Groups & Regional Destination Organisations 
Awards between £40,000 - £80,000 

Tier three

Local Destination Organisations, Marketing Groups & non-Pan-Scotland Sector Groups 
Awards between £10,000 - £20,000 

Application process

The Fund is now open for applications and the application form is available to download from this page

The fund will be operating staggered closing dates for each tier:

Funding tier

Applications open

Applications close

Tier one – City Region Awards Programme 

12pm

1 June 2021

3pm 

29 June 2021 

Tier two – Pan-Scotland Sector Groups & Regional Destination Organisations

12pm

1 June 2021

3pm 

13 July 2021

Tier three – Local Destination Organisations, Marketing Groups & non-Pan Scotland Sector Groups 

12pm 

1 June 2021

3pm

23 July 2021

Please view the fund guidelines document for full eligibility criteria before applying.

If you have any enquiries about the fund please contact Destination&SectorMarketingFund@visitscotland.com

Guidance for applicants | Destination and Sector Marketing Fund

Published May 2021

Application form

Please note that as part of the application form, you must also complete an Activity Plan that demonstrates clearly how awarded funds will be spent. You can find an example copy of a completed project activity plan in this section. 

Destination & Sector Marketing Fund | Application form

Published May 2021

Example Project Activity Plan

Published May 2021

Insight driven

Applicants to the Fund will be required to develop their visitor propositions in line with post-COVID-19 consumer trends.

We have outlined a selection of papers identifying key consumer trends with suggestions of how they can be translated into visitor propositions to help inform your application:

Localism and authentic experiences 

Consumers have long been encouraged to 'discover what’s on your doorstep' and 'think global, act local', however, during the COVID-19 pandemic, this became a much more tangible concept for all.

Localism and authentic experiences insights paper

Published May 2021

Adaptable adventure

There is much evidence that the fundamental need for outdoor activities – which has been a growing tourism driver for years – has been further strengthened by the pandemic-related restrictions, with an increasing number of people becoming more active in their own local areas or looking for alternative ways of staying healthy and physically fit.

Adaptable adventure insights paper

Published May 2021

Workcations

Individuals are being enabled to make decisions about working environments based on their own personal circumstances and, as such, can choose to work from less traditional settings or combine work with opportunities to undertaken leisure activities.

Workcationing insights paper

Published May 2021

Artisanal retail and food and drink

Consumers are looking to reconnect with the processes and products they use and the people producing them, both at home and as part of planned trips. Supporting small businesses forced to close during lockdown has encouraged digital adoption in these SMEs (Small to Medium Enterprises) and increased access to their products.

Artisanal retail and food drink insights paper

Published May 2021

Voluntourism

Consumers want to travel more sustainably and manage their interactions with a destination and its residents in a thoughtful manner. Volunteering time and energy to a related cause will help deliver the mindfulness and engagement drivers many visitors seek through travel.

Voluntourism insights paper

Published May 2021

Wellness 

Wellness tourism has different connotations for different people. For some it will mean yoga retreats and spa breaks. For others, it might be more linked to physical activities such as walking or mountaineering.

Wellness tourism insights paper

Published May 2021

Destination & Sector Marketing Fund webinar

Destination & Sector marketing Fund webinar slides

Published June 2021

Destination & Sector Marketing Fund Webinar Q&A

Published June 2021

PDF of questions and answers from the fund webinar