South of Scotland Scenic Picture

Don't miss your chance to have your say on how Tourism should develop in the South of Scotland

Members of the public in the South of Scotland are being urged to take part in an online survey about the area’s Regional Responsible Tourism Strategy, which is being developed collectively by the South of Scotland Destination Alliance (SSDA), South of Scotland Enterprise (SOSE), Scottish Borders Council, Dumfries & Galloway Council and VisitScotland.

As agreed in the Delivery Plan of the South of Scotland’s Regional Economic Strategy (RES), all key agencies in the region are coming together in 2023 to develop and agree a single Responsible Tourism Strategy for the South of Scotland, with a clear Action Plan for successful delivery.

The five partner organisations are all working together to support the development of the strategy, which aims to ensure the South of Scotland has a sustainable, year-round tourism offer. All involved are committed to ensuring the strategy and action plan are genuinely informed by, and owned by, local businesses and communities, as well as public agencies. To achieve this, they want the process of strategy development to be as inclusive and as possible.  

Alongside a series of 27 in-person and digital meetings, being held right across the region, an online survey to inform the new Strategy and Action Plan will be live until 15 September.  

The survey aims  to capture the views of people throughout the South of Scotland, from tourism and hospitality businesses to community groups, residents and other stakeholders.

The online survey is being hosted by Scottish Borders Council and runs until 15 September 2023.

The first draft of the Strategy and Action Plan is due to be published in the autumn and a second round of (mostly digital) consultations is planned to obtain business and community feedback on this draft, before anything is finalised.

The five organisations aim to have the process complete, and the Strategy and Action Plan agreed by all parties, by the end of 2023.

David Hope-Jones OBE, South of Scotland Destination Alliance, said:

“We’re really keen to hear from as many people in the South of Scotland as possible as we develop the Responsible Tourism Strategy.

"It’s about working collectively together, businesses and communities, to develop a sustainable, year-round tourism offering to benefit everyone who lives, works and visits here. 

“With a single Responsible Tourism Strategy, achieved through proactive outreach, open-minded consultation, and genuine collaboration, we can strengthen our visitor economy and support community prosperity. It’s about ensuring we’re all pushing in the same direction, with everyone bought into one single plan, for collective good.

“Our goal is a strategy which is owned by, and delivers for, businesses, public agencies and communities.

"So, if you haven’t already done so, please share your views and insight into the future of tourism in the South of Scotland.”

Jane Morrison-Ross, Chief Executive of SOSE, added: 

“We know how important tourism is for the businesses and communities across our region and want to ensure that we grow its potential in a sustainable way.

“That is why the Responsible Tourism Strategy will be such a key tool for partners in the South.

“I would encourage anyone with an interest in the future of tourism in the South to take part in the survey to help ensure the final Strategy can help support a fair and flourishing industry.”