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Visit Scotland | Alba

In Scotland, almost three quarter of residents agree that climate change is an immediate and urgent problem so there’s a real opportunity for businesses to shout about their eco experiences and cater for a market that recognises the need for action.

We’re asking the industry to prioritise responsible and sustainable growth, and to play their part in helping Scotland to become a world-class low carbon destination, and the best destination for responsible tourism.

Make sure to share your story with your customers, who want to travel more sustainably. Let people know what you’re doing and that you have committed to this journey, and help them to reduce their carbon emissions when visiting.

Across the tourism industry we all have a part to play in climate change – from businesses and residents to visitors – and we continue to be inspired by all the great work that many businesses are already undertaking.

Sharing your journey to become a more responsible, low carbon business with other businesses in your sector, your destination, and beyond is key, as it will support others on their journey, foster collaboration and ensure that we learn from each other and can go faster and further in our collective journey to net zero.

On this page you will find examples from a range of businesses and communities who are putting sustainability into practice.

Case study fims | living responsible tourism

Written case studies | responsible tourism (published from autumn 2020 – present)

  • The Burrell Collection | case study

    The Burrell Collection, Glasgow, will reopen in March 2022 in a refurbished and reimagined A-listed building that will help set new standards for sustainability in museums. Find out more about the work being undertaken.

  • 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.

Responsible visitors

We want to make sure Scotland’s natural beauty is preserved for future generations. This means driving positive economic recovery from Coronavirus (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 responsible tourism campaign, providing information on our website and amplifying other organisations' campaigns which align with our vision.


Share the water safety message

  • #BeBeachSafe

    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.

  • #RespectOurReservoirs

    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.  

  • #PlasticChallenge

    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 car parks. 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.

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