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Visit Scotland | Alba

Making tourism more inclusive for families in Scotland

250,000 children in Scotland still live in relative poverty, and there are a huge number of families in Scotland who consequently never experience even a short break.

This means that hundreds of thousands of families miss out on the great benefits a short break in Scotland can bring. Cost is a major factor for many people, others are not able to participate due to ill-health or caring responsibilities. Some people lack the confidence whilst for others, staying within their own community is all they know.

For the tourism industry more widely, we know from other countries where social tourism happens on a bigger scale that there are positive impacts on domestic tourism numbers, helping address seasonality and supporting local year-round employment.

The impact of ScotSpirit breaks

90 businesses

have participated in the campaign since it started in 2016

3,385 families

that's 6,115 people in total, which includes 3,385 children, enjoying a break in Scotland


of people visited parts of Scotland they'd never been to before


said they could cope better after the experience

Figures and feedback gathered from families and business who have taken part in the campaign

ScotSpirit breaks

Since 2016, alongside business from across the Scottish tourism industry we've been working in partnership to help vulnerable and disadvantaged families in Scotland enjoy a short break or day out in their own country.

All the families are on low income, have at least one child under 18 and many of them are living with some of the toughest challenges life can bring. For many, the breaks are a lifeline.

The break meant everything to us. We'd never had one before. To spend quality time together as a family and explore a new area was the best feeling ever.

ScotSpirit Case Studies

Published December 2019

A selection of stories from families and support professionals reflecting on the value and impact of their ScotSpirit Break. The case studies were created as a legacy of the Year of Young People 2018.

How you can get involved

The short breaks are made possible by businesses and partners across the tourism industry, who provide accommodation, transport and access to visitor attractions and experiences. The breaks are then shared with 83 Scottish charities and social welfare organisations or professionals by our registered charity partner, the Family Holiday Association, which has been helping families get a break for over 40 years.

We'd love your help with ScotSpirit breaks

  • Accommodation

    Two-night breaks during weekends or school holidays between June and October, in any location easily accessible by public transport

  • Visitor attractions

    any family friendly attractions in any location easily accessible by public transport, with tickets for access during weekends or school holidays between June and October

  • Transport

    If you're a transport company, you could contribute by providing tickets – bus, rail, ferry or taxi!

Marina DiDuca

Inclusive Tourism Manager

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