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Visit Scotland | Alba

Make your business easier to find

Available to eligible Quality Assured businesses

Brown tourist signs are widely recognised around Scotland. They provide visitors with clear and consistent directions to their destination. Our remit is to approve your eligibility before you can submit your application to your local authority roads department. Please follow our quick step-by-step guide to walk you through the process.

How to apply for a brown tourist sign

A quick guide to making your application

Confirming your eligibility and applying to your local authority roads department

  1. 1

    Check that you qualify as a tourist destination

    A tourist destination is defined in traffic sign legislation* as a permanently established attraction or facility that:

    • attracts or is used by visitors to an area
    • is open to the public without prior booking during its normal opening hours
    • is recognised by us

    *As defined by The Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions 2016

  2. 2

    Join our Quality Assurance Scheme

    To be eligible for signage, you must be a current member of our Quality Assurance Scheme. Ongoing participation in the scheme is necessary to retain tourist signs.

    Join our Quality Assurance Scheme
  3. 3

    Request your letter of accreditation

    Before you apply for a brown tourist sign, you'll need an official accreditation letter. To ask for one, eligible businesses should contact

    Please note that we are responsible for approving eligibility to apply for signage. Our remit does not include responsibility for approving signage.

  4. 4

    Apply to local authority roads department

    Once you have your accreditation letter you can make your application. Your first point of contact should be your local authority roads department. They manage all requests and can progress your application on local roads. Approval is their decision.

    Where applicable,  you may asked to liaise with Transport Scotland or one of their operating companies. This is the case for signage requests on trunk roads or motorways.

Further advice and guidance on tourist signs

The purpose of tourist signs is to provide clear directions to enable visitors to reach quality tourist destinations safely by vehicle. Example of tourist destinations include:

Tourist attractions include: Tourist facilities include:
  • ancient monuments
  • garden centres
  • golf courses
  • historic buildings and properties
  • leisure/sport centres
  • museums
  • natural attractions (such as nature reserves)
  • parks and gardens
  • theme parks
  • tourist shops
  • visitor centres
  • zoos
  • bed & breakfasts
  • caravan and camping
  • guesthouses
  • holiday parks
  • hotels
  • restaurants

Establishments primarily acting as retail outlets (including retail parks, shopping centres and garden centres) are only eligible for tourist signs if recognised by us as a "tourist shop" through our visitor attraction Quality Assurance Scheme in addition to meeting all the other relevant criteria.

Tourist destinations not eligible for tourist signposting: 

  • exclusive use venues
  • group accommodation providers 
  • self-catering accommodation, except:
    • where multiple units have a manned reception area and have on-spec accommodation available on a nightly basis
    • where the accommodation is eligible for traffic management or road safety issues in certain circumstances
  • worshiping churches

Not currently eligible?

If you are not currently a Quality Assured business and would like to join, find out how to apply for our Quality Assurance Scheme.

If you think that there is not an appropriate Quality Assurance Scheme for your business, please contact us to discuss your options. You can email us at

Frequently asked questions

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