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by Malcolm Roughead, VisitScotland
25 September 2020
Associate feature: Scotland’s Responsible Tourism commitment

Associate feature: Scotland’s Responsible Tourism commitment

Last week’s Climate Week Scotland, offered a moment for us to reflect on how we can contribute to a more responsible future – and a chance to celebrate some of the work that’s already underway. 

For VisitScotland, the COVID-19 pandemic has set responsible tourism at the heart of this moment for change.

Scotland has already established a strong position on environmental sustainability, selected to host the first public event for the sustainable tourism initiative Travalyst in February of this year.

We have a duty of care to protect our assets for the future, so Scotland continues to be a great place to live and to visit. It’s important to think about responsible tourism in the holistic sense – including working with communities.

With our marketing remit we are in a strong position to guide, influence and offer advice to visitors. That’s why we’re mindful of highlighting responsible tourism messaging across our channels.

Harold Goodwin, a renowned commentator on responsible tourism recently wrote about the actions Scotland is taking toward being a global leader in this area. 

In particular, he described how we seek to create meaningful connections between our visitors and our country. This fosters a long-lasting bond, offering an excellent opportunity to encourage return travellers and engage with visitors who will give something back, in a positive way.

Our own 2020 Trends Paper identified that travellers are seeking this type of ‘Transformational Tourism’. While people’s attitudes toward travel have shifted during the pandemic, it seems environmental and social considerations remain important.

Although there is more that all of us could do, activity at VisitScotland and across the industry has set us up firmly to help grasp this moment for change - to make sure tourism contributes positively towards and benefits the lives of visitors and communities.

This piece was sponsored by Visit Scotland. Malcolm Roughead OBE is the Chief Executive of VisitScotland. 

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