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Visit Scotland | Alba

Please note that this fund is now closed

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 was to encourage destination and sector groups to collaborate and develop strong visitor propositions that are reflective of identified post-COVID-19 trends.

These should 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 was £3 million. This Fund was part of a wider Scottish Government support package linked to the Tourism Task Force Recovery plan, delivered by VisitScotland. 

Recipients of the Destination & Sector Marketing Fund have also been offered a top-up as part of additional funding announced by the Scottish Government in December 2021. This was focused on the extension of the existing seasonal campaigns already planned and will help drive short-term demand in support of recovery.  

Who could apply?

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

Application process

The Fund is now closed for applications. 

If you have any enquiries about the fund please contact Destination&

Application form

As part of the application form, you had to 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. 

Insight driven

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

We outlined a selection of papers identifying key consumer trends with suggestions of how they could be translated into visitor propositions to help inform applications:

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.

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.


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.

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.


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.


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.

Destination & Sector Marketing Fund webinar

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