Ten innovative responsible tourism projects launched as part of £25million Scottish Tourism Recovery Programme

Published:  29 November 2021

Ten innovative responsible tourism projects across the country have been made possible as part of the Scottish Government’s £25 million tourism recovery programme to support the sector’s recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic.

This includes two projects in the South of Scotland by South of Scotland Destination Alliance and Eat South West Scotland

The projects, which collectively received over £500,000 in funding, have been revealed by South of Scotland Enterprise (SOSE), Scottish Enterprise and Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE).

Successful initiatives include:

  • The development of a Stories Experience Collection for the South of Scotland
  • An interactive food to fork map in Dumfries and Galloway
  • A digital sales tool which allows visitors to ‘pay it forward’
  • Scotland’s first portal for booking agri-tourism farm experiences across Scotland
  • Visitor management tool to facilitate safe and sustainable tourism on the Isle of Skye
  • Creation of a community calculator measuring business impacts.

Who developed the Tourism Leadership and Recovery Fund?

Developed by the Scottish Tourism Emergency Response Group (STERG) in collaboration with members of the Tourism Task Force, the Tourism Leadership and Recovery Fund is part of the Scottish Tourism Leadership Programme.

It was available to individuals from businesses or organisations who previously participated in Scotland’s flagship leadership programmes – Destination Leaders Programme (DLP), Communities Leading in Tourism (CLT) and Rural Leadership Programme (RLP).

With the grants ranging from £20,000 to £70,000, the fund is designed to support the recovery of tourism and hospitality in Scotland by driving forward innovation in the tourism sector through collaboration.

The businesses and community groups receiving the awards include:

  • South of Scotland Destination Alliance
  • Eat South West Scotland
  • Edinburgh International Conference Centre
  • Rural Dimensions
  • Mercat Tours
  • Scottish Agritourism
  • Travel Tech for Scotland
  • Ayrshire Chamber of Commerce and Industry
  • Argyll and Isles Tourism Cooperative
  • SkyeConnect CIC

Sign up to Scottish Tourism Leadership programme

Scottish Tourism Leadership programme courses are free to participants for this financial year only and application deadlines are fast approaching, so individuals are encouraged to apply now to avoid disappointment:

Professor Russel Griggs OBE, Chair

“It is fantastic to see 10 projects receive targeted support from the Tourism Leadership and Recovery Fund, which will help drive forward innovation in the tourism sector through collaboration.

“The tourism industry is absolutely vital to the South of Scotland, with 4.6 million annual visitors and a related spend of over £600m supporting around 12,000 jobs.

“The Scottish Tourism Recovery Programme provides a wide variety of support to the industry and I would encourage anyone in the South of Scotland who can play a key role in tourism recovery to take a look at the various opportunities available.”

One of the grant award recipients was Eat South West Scotland in Dumfries and Galloway, who will use the funding to help develop an interactive food tourism map.

Sheena Horner at Eat SW Scotland

“This grant will help us to increase our focus on keeping food miles to a minimum and celebrate the wonderful larder of fresh delicious produce we have right here on our doorstep.

"This really is a wonderful example of how investing in tourism initiatives really can make a positive difference to our environment and our local economies.”