Sustainability is an underpinning principle of the national strategy for Scottish tourism growth.

Collectively we aim to grow visitor spend to at least £5.5bn by 2020 but we need to do that in a way that is viable in the long term, will enhance Scotland’s communities and also improve our natural environment so that it can benefit us now and in future generations.

To support this sustainable growth, a strategic sustainability framework has been devised by the Sustainability Action Industry Group.

This framework was based on the Sustainable Tourism Statement which was published by the Scottish Tourism Alliance's Council in 2013 and which agreed the following objectives:

  • Grow sustainable tourism opportunities
  • Help the sector adapt to climate change
  • Make holidays accessible to all
  • Improve the quality of jobs
  • Support communities and enhance quality of life
  • Protect and enhance natural and cultural heritage
  • Reduce resource use and waste
  • Reduce transport tourism impact


Key areas of focus

The Sustainability Action Industry Group focus on the specific areas within the framework to deliver a series of activities that will help make embed sustainability in the heart of Scottish tourism.  The key areas are:

food waste picture Transport pic Accessible pic
Reducing Food Waste

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Focus on Transport,
in particular Electric Vehicles 

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Accessible Tourism

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Key Initiatives / Downloads

Scotland is a sustainable destination of first choice

Grow visitor spend to at least £5.5 billion by 2020 and improve Scotland’s society and environment

Download the TS2020 Sustainability "Rocket"

Help the Sector Adapt to Climate Change

Scottish businesses will face many challenges as a result of climate change impacts. However, climate change will also present business and innovation opportunities.

In October 2017, Interface and Adaptation Scotland organised Fit for our Future, an event which aimed to prompt tourism stakeholders to consider how a changing climate might impact our industry. 

In January 2018, Adaptation Scotland published tourism-specific business advice in collaboration with Scottish Enterprise, VisitScotland and The 2020 Climate Group. 

Visit the Adaptation Scotland website >>