Tourism and events is one of Scotland's most important industries, helping to create wealth and jobs and build upon our strong international reputation.
We aim to help our tourism and events industry to grow further and to attract more visitors to Scotland.
We support Scotland's tourism and events industry by:
- sponsoring our national tourism organisation VisitScotland, which has a budget of more than £45 million a year. View VisitScotland's website for business or VisitScotland's website for citizens
- working with public, private and third-sector partners to deliver the industry-led tourism strategy Tourism Scotland 2020
- providing support for tourism businesses
- assisting with arranging meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions through ConventionScotland
- supporting our partners, led by VisitScotland's events directorate EventScotland, in delivering the national events strategy Scotland: The Perfect Stage
- securing, planning and delivering a programme of major events and festivals
- facilitating a discussion around the issue of a tourism tax
- funding the delivery of the national Themed Years and Winter Festivals programmes
Spending by tourists in Scotland generates around £12 billion of economic activity for the wider Scottish supply chain and contributes around £6 billion to Scottish GDP, representing about 5% of total Scottish GDP. The tourism industry in Scotland supported more than 217,000 jobs in 2015, accounting for around 8.5% of employment in the country.
It is identified as a growth sector in our economic strategy (2015) where we can build on existing advantages to increase the industry’s productivity and growth.
Bills and legislation
The Development of Tourism Act 1969 established a British Tourist Authority and the Tourist Boards of Scotland, England and Wales.
The Tourist Boards (Scotland) Act 2006 renamed the Scottish Tourist Board as VisitScotland and increased the maximum number of board members it could have.
Section 90 of the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973 sets out the powers of local authorities in terms of tourism-related activities.
Section 23 of the National Heritage (Scotland) Act 1985 gave powers to ministers to make grants to any body whose activities appear to be likely to promote the development or understanding of cultural or scientific matters.
Telephone: 0131 244 0031
Tourism and Events Division
Directorate for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs
Area 2J (South)