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 (view VisitScotland's corporate website and VisitScotland's website for citizens)
- working with public, private and third-sector partners to deliver the industry-led tourism strategy 'Scotland Outlook 2030: Responsible Tourism for a Sustainable Future'
- providing support for tourism businesses
- assisting with arranging meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions through ConventionScotland
- introducing proposals to give councils powers to introduce a visitor levy (or tourism tax), to invest in local facilities and services
Scotland’s tourism and hospitality sector covers a diverse range of businesses, including tourist attractions, accommodation providers, travel providers, restaurants, cafes and bars.
As well as playing a key role in Scotland’s economy, tourism and hospitality contributes to thriving communities, through supporting local and regional development and promoting local businesses, creating jobs and enabling visitors and residents alike to experience the incredible offer we have here in Scotland.
The tourism sector, along with the hospitality sector, is globally recognised as having been one of the hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. Effective recovery is vital in ensuring the sector can continue to be a force for good in the local and national economy – through fair work, sustainable jobs and value for communities – and place Scotland as a world leader in responsible tourism.
We are committed to working with Scotland’s tourism industry and other partners to support the recovery of the sector in a sustainable and inclusive manner.
National Tourism Strategy: Scotland Outlook 2030: Responsible Tourism For A Sustainable Future
The national tourism strategy, ‘Scotland Outlook 2030: Responsible Tourism For A Sustainable Future’, was launched in March 2020 with a bold new vision to be ‘the world leader in 21st century tourism’.
Read more about the strategy on the Scottish Tourism Alliance website.
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)