National events strategy review: consultation

Scotland's National events strategy is being reviewed and updated. This will extend its term to the end of 2035. This survey provides everyone with a role in Scotland’s world-class event industry the chance to shape the sector’s updated strategy.

8. Equalities

We have begun to identify opportunities for harnessing the full potential of the review to boost equality, inclusion and diversity. This includes building on the successes and lessons/learning from the previous Themed Years, Major Events, and VisitScotland's Inclusive Tourism Project. This also means linking into key strategies such as the 2030 Tourism Strategy and the Scottish Government's Race Equality Framework and Action Plan.

Significant wider partner activity to boost equality through tourism and events is already underway. Examples include the suite of tools to boost inclusive tourism available from VisitScotland's website and commitment in the 2030 tourism strategy to ensure that Scotland is an inclusive and accessible destination. Building on this activity could be a central component of the Strategy Review.

8.1 Intersectional

One of the most effective ways to welcome all of the protected groups to events is through focused marketing and PR activity to underline the welcome and to ensure that people see their communities reflected in media. For example 73% of respondents to Equality Network/VisitScotland research on LGBT tourism said that an LGBT friendly reputation was an important factor in their choice of destination.

8.2 Age

Levels of cultural attendance in Scotland are generally higher among the younger age groups. There are opportunities to indirectly boost child rights and well-being. This includes learning from the 2018 Year of Young People to enhance wellbeing and boost empowerment through models like co-design. It also includes helping address child poverty through Fair Work Practices, and using good volunteering opportunities to build skills and attract a future workforce.

8.3 Race/Multi-cultural communities

Feedback from representative groups in recent years is that Major Events have significant potential to boost race equality and cultural diversity. This can be through bespoke events or as part of a wider package of programme activity. Examples include activity around the 2018 European Championships.

8.4 Disability

A fifth of people in Scotland had a long-term activity-limiting health problem or disability in 2011. There is a growing body of evidence related to the engagement of disabled and older people in tourism, culture and events – boosted by data gathered in support of VisitScotland's Inclusive Tourism Project. Providing full and clear information on accessibility of events (travel and on-site) emerges as the central ask of disabled people.

8.5 Sexual orientation

Existing annual events like LGBT History month and PRIDE related activities (virtual or in person) appear to offer particular opportunities to engage the LGBTI community. In addition, mainstreaming LGBTI content across marketing and PR activity helps boost visibility, under-line the welcome and raise awareness across wider society of Scotland's journey towards LGBTI equality. The welcome is also key for the trans community alongside safety and respect for example around security searches.

8.6 Socio-economic inequalities

There is an opportunity for Scotland's events to reduce inequality of outcomes caused by socio-economic disadvantage. This could be through, for example, increased community participation at events, volunteering and broader cultural engagement.

Measuring impact is a key consideration for the refreshed national events strategy. This presents an opportunity to incorporate inequality of outcomes caused by socio-economic disadvantage. This could include:

  • Economic impact of events on geographic and thematic deprivation as evidenced through the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation and also other proxy data-sets such as the Scottish Household Survey
  • Integration of Fair Work practices, development of career pathways, and other actions to attract people to work in the event sector
  • Accessibility of events, harnessing their potential to boost civic pride, community spirit, social inclusion, empowerment and sense of place

8.7 Island communities

The islands provide a unique events destination building on their world-renowned landscapes, history and traditions. This currently largely focuses on cultural activity but the 2025 International Island Games have potential to broaden this out to include multi-sports too.

There is already a strong existing portfolio of events across many of the islands. Events include: Up Helly Aa (Shetland); SEALL Small Halls Festival (Skye); Isle of Arran Mountain Festival; Hebridean Celtic Festival; Eilean Dorcha Festival (Uist); Bute Fest; Orkney International Science Festival; Isle of Mull Car Rally; Tiree Wave Classic; and the Lagavulin Islay Jazz Festival.

Significant challenges remain for the islands in terms of fully harnessing the many benefits associated with events. These include transport and connectivity, lower population density, and the capacity of the tourism and hospitality sector to welcome large numbers of visitors attending a major event.

8.8 Contribution to impact assessments

We are seeking the views of stakeholders and the public on any potential equality issues. We are assessing what impact the strategy may have across protected characteristics as defined in the Equality Act 2010 (age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex, sexual orientation). We are also looking at impacts in terms of socio-economic status and geographical location. We are looking at business and regulatory impacts too.

Impact assessments will be further developed alongside the drafting of the refreshed national events strategy. If you would like to be engaged in the impact assessment process, please email the Scottish Government's Major Events Team.

Question 26: If there is anything else that you think we should be considering as part of impact assessments, please give details here.

Question 27: If there are any other changes to the current National Events Strategy you wish to see, please give details here.



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