National Marine Plan - A Summary of Objectives and Policies

Summary document containing the objectives and policies from the National Marine Plan.

Recreation and Tourism

Objectives and policies for this sector should be read subject to those set out in the General Policies and Strategic Objectives. It is recognised that not all the objectives can necessarily be achieved directly through the marine planning system, but they are considered important context for planning and decision making.

1 Economic Social

Position Scotland as a world class sustainable coastal and marine tourism and recreation destination through the sustainable development of coastal and marine recreation activities and industries in Scotland.

2 Economic Social Marine Ecosystem

Protection and enhancement of the unique, natural resources which attract visitors and which are relied upon for recreational activities.

3 Economic Social Climate Change - Adaptation

Promote diversification of the recreation and tourism sector to increase the value of assets in rural towns and exploit opportunities from future climate change.

4 Economic Social

Continued and improved access to marine and coastal resources for tourism activities and recreational use.

5 Economic Social Climate Change - Mitigation

Sustainable improvement and/or development of existing or new facilities, encouraging the sharing of facilities and supporting infrastructure and the use of low carbon energy solutions.

6 Economic

Improved data on marine and coastal recreational activities, including key recreation resources and access points, enabling better targeted and long-term planning for these activities.

7 Economic Social

Participation in a range of waterborne recreational activities that support participation and sport development, encourage an appreciation of the environment in which they take place, contribute to life skills and support a healthier nation and increase economic benefit.

8 Social Marine Ecosystem

Improved education and understanding of the marine environment for recreational users, including how to enjoy the resource responsibly in accordance with the Marine Wildlife Watching Code and the Scottish Outdoor Access Code.

Marine planning policies

Economic REC & TOURISM 1: Opportunities to promote sustainable development of marine recreation and tourism should be supported.

Economic Social Marine Ecosystem REC & TOURISM 2: The following key factors should be taken into account when deciding on uses of the marine environment and the potential impact on recreation and tourism:

  • The extent to which the proposal is likely to adversely affect the qualities important to recreational users, including the extent to which proposals may interfere with the physical infrastructure that underpins a recreational activity.
  • The extent to which any proposal interferes with access to and along the shore, to the water, use of the resource for recreation or tourism purposes and existing navigational routes or navigational safety.
  • Where significant impacts are likely, whether reasonable alternatives can be identified for the proposed activity or development.
  • Where significant impacts are likely and there are no reasonable alternatives, whether mitigation, through recognised and effective measures, can be achieved at no significant cost to the marine recreation or tourism sector interests.

Economic Social REC & TOURISM 3: Regional marine plans should identify areas that are of recreational and tourism value and identify where prospects for significant development exist, including opportunities to link to the National Long Distance Walking and Cycle Routes, and more localised and/or bespoke recreational opportunities and visitor attractions.

Economic Social Climate Change - Mitigation REC & TOURISM 4: Marine and terrestrial planners, marine decision makers and developers should give consideration to the facility requirements of marine recreation and tourism activities, including a focus on support for participation and development in sport. Co-operation and sharing infrastructure and/or facilities, where appropriate, with complementary sectors should be supported as should provision of low carbon transport options.

Marine Ecosystem Climate Change - Adaptation REC & TOURISM 5: Marine planners and decision makers should support enhancement to the aesthetic qualities, coastal character and wildlife experience of Scotland's marine and coastal areas, to the mutual benefit of the natural environment, human quality of life and the recreation and tourism sectors.

Economic Social Marine Ecosystem REC & TOURISM 6: Codes of practice for invasive non-native species and Marine Wildlife Watching should be complied with.

Regional policy: Regional marine plans should consider:

  • Identifying thematic links to other regions and acknowledging the different methods of travel across Scotland, e.g. Great Glen route.
  • Identifying important areas for protection, provisions and improvements to access and facilities to support the sector.
  • Promoting/ensuring better engagement between sectors and other marine users, e.g. Inshore Fisheries Groups and sea anglers.
  • Aligning with Tourism Development Areas within Local Development Plans and promote marine based development strategies.
  • Promoting education and the use of codes of conduct and good practice guidance, including signage.
  • Supporting sustainable tourism including sustainable transport and green tourism. <applies to inshore waters>


Back to top