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VisitScotland / Luigi Di Pasquale

Climate change and tourism

Tackling climate change is the biggest challenge facing Scottish tourism.

We want to inspire future generations to say that Scottish tourism led the way and made a difference in tackling climate change. Scotland is already considered as a leader in the field of responsible tourism. Now is time to take it to the next level.

Tourism and the effects of climate change

Tourism is a clear contributor to the global climate crisis, but also stands to suffer its consequences. So, it is now more important than ever for tourism to step up and show how the sector can be part of the solution.

Climate change and extreme weather events have already harmed many aspects of our natural environment. And these adverse effects trickle down to our communities and businesses as well.

Find out more about the predicted consequences of climate change in Scotland and what impact these may be at the Adaption Scotland website.

How climate change will affect Scotland

Sea levels will rise

Increasing flooding and coastal erosion

Warmer summers

Typical summers in Scotland will be warmer and drier, with greater extreme temperatures

Wetter winters

Typical winters in Scotland will be milder and wetter

Extreme rainfall

Intense, heavy rainfall events will increase in both winter and summer

Frequently asked questions

What you can do now

Tourism and events businesses

By acting now, your business can reduce costs and build resilience, but will also meet the increasing consumer demand for sustainability. The good news is, we're here to help

  1. 1

    Complete a climate risk assessment

    Do a climate risk assessment to see how your business might be affected. Look at what measures you can put in place to adapt to and mitigate the effect of these changes.

    Create a Climate Action Plan
  2. 2

    Think about other impacts on your business

    It's important to understand that the impact of climate change is not only about how your business operates. Consider the impact on your customers, staff, and supply chain.  

    Learn more about adapting your business to climate change
  3. 3

    Share your story

    As well as tackling your own operational emissions, what influence can you have on others by sharing your story? How can you use your influence to foster collaboration and learning, and promote responsible tourism? 

    Learn more about communicating about climate change

Destination groups and organisations

We're asking the Scottish tourism sector to prioritise responsible, low carbon growth and join us on the journey to net zero.

  1. 1

    Download our resource tool

    This resource tool is designed to highlight elements of the Destination Net Zero Action Plan which are relevant to destination stakeholders (e.g., DMOs, local authorities, sub-sector groups).

    It will assist stakeholders to develop their own plan, supporting Scottish tourism’s transition to a net zero economy.

    A destination's journey to net zero

    Published March 2023

In partnership

This content has been produced as part of the Scottish Government tourism recovery funded Destination Net Zero programme. We’ve created it for you in partnership with Green Tourism and The Edinburgh Climate Change Institute.

Useful links