Foreign travel undertaken by the First Minister: FOI release

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002.

FOI reference: FOI/17/02397
Date received: 13 October 2017
Date responded: 7 November 2017

Information requested

"Since the Brexit vote in 2016, Nicola Sturgeon seems to have made many visits abroad to various European countries including, most recently, Iceland.

I would like to know, under Freedom Of Information, the following details:

  1. A list of the various trips abroad she has made since 23 June 2016;

  2. The number of staff accompanying her on each visit;

  3. The total cost of travel and accommodation on each of these visits;

  4. Whether Nicola Sturgeon stayed in a higher starred accommodation than those accompanying her (i.e 5 star hotel compared to 4 star etc etc);

  5. What the purpose of each visit was and,

  6. Where the money came from to pay for these visits."


In relation to points 1, 2, 3 & 5, all ministerial engagements, including foreign travel are proactively published by the Scottish Government. This includes accommodation costs and the number of officials accompanying the First Minister. The information you have requested can be accessed at the below link: Under section 25(1) of FOISA, we do not have to give you information which is already reasonably accessible to you. If, however, you do not have internet access to obtain this information from the website(s) listed, then please contact me again and I will send you a paper copy.

While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance we are unable to provide the information you have requested from June to October 2017 because an exemption under section 27(1) (information intended for future publication) of FOISA applies to that information.

This exemption can be applied when it is the intention of the relevant Scottish public authority to publish the information no later than 12 weeks after the date on which the request was made.

In relation to point 4, Scottish Government officials accompanying the First Minister stayed in the same accommodation.

In relation to point 6, the First Minister undertakes foreign travel as part of her role in representing Scotland overseas. Visits of this nature focus on a range of areas such promoting trade and investment, boosting tourism, sharing best practice across the public and private sector and promoting Scottish innovation, entrepreneurship and culture. The Scottish Government meets the full costs of any foreign travel the First Minister undertakes in an official capacity.

About FOI

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Please quote the FOI reference

Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrew's House
Regent Road

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