Sustainable Tourism

Tourism is a vital industry for the Scottish economy, and supports around 9% of all employment.

In 2006:

  • 16 million visitors took overnight trips to Scotland spending more than £4,159 million in the country
  • an estimated 210,000 people were employed in tourism-related jobs (VisitScotland: Tourism in Scotland 2006)


  • the whisky industry in Scotland supported 40,000 jobs (Scotch Whisky Association 2006)
  • total income from Farming in Scotland was £578 million (Scottish Government Agriculture Statistics 2006)

National Tourism Strategy
In 2006, Scotland’s first national tourism strategy was produced: Scottish Tourism: the next decade, a tourism framework for change

This Strategy draws together all the elements needed to achieve the ambition it sets: to grow Scotland’s tourism by 50% by the year 2015.

These elements include:

  • transport, including the needs of visitors and people working in tourism
  • education and training for people working in tourism – and those who might work in tourism in the future.
  • affordable housing for people working in tourism.
  • partnership working between the public sector (VisitScotland, Councils, Enterprise Companies and National Park Authorities) and the private sector (tourism businesses and groups of businesses).
  • improving the service experienced by all visitors so they will stay longer, return and recommend Scotland to others.
  • making sure that the ambition is sustainable so that it happens without bringing so many visitors that they destroy what Scotland has to offer and what makes it an attractive place to visit.

Other useful links:
National Tourism Strategy
Sustainability Web Ring

Fast track to
Sustainable Tourism Strategy (Cairngorms)

The second National Tourism Strategy is currently being consulted on (2010-15)