Communities Leading in Tourism

As rural Scotland’s local economies look to rebuild in the face of a global pandemic, we now more than ever need a place-based community-led approach to recovery.

This programme provides an opportunity for communities to engage and shape the future of local tourism and to share their value and benefits.

Hear from those taking part in Cohort 1 in the video (right).

Please note: this video was filmed during Cohort 1 prior to Covid-19 restrictions - the programme is currently being delivered virtually.

What is it?

Communities Leading in Tourism is a personal development programme which will give you, and your community organisation, the knowledge and leadership skills you’ll need to influence, plan and manage sustainable tourism recovery for the benefit of your community.

The pilot programme has been developed as part of a ground-breaking partnership between South of Scotland Enterprise (SOSE) and Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE).

The project brings together the community and tourism sector and aims to maximise local tourism opportunities. The programme is delivered by the Social Enterprise Academy on behalf of HIE and SOSE.

Our second cohort of 15 people from across Scotland is currently underway. Our next group will start in January, and you can apply now.

Who is it for?

If you are working or volunteering with community organisations and/or social enterprises with an interest in tourism, this programme could be for you. As places are limited, we’ll be looking for aspiring future leaders from across rural Scotland who can demonstrate:

  • how taking part will help you deliver long term local benefit
  • that you can commit to the full programme

Why choose this programme?

  • Develop your personal leadership skills and insight into the potential opportunities tourism offers your community.
  • Gain a thorough understanding of the complexities of the tourism sector.
  • Hear inspiring stories of communities, in the UK and internationally, who have taken a lead in tourism to build economic resilience.
  • Create a strategic vision and plan for leading the sustainable development of tourism in the Highlands and Islands and South of Scotland, to support recovery post Covid-19.
  • Participate in a global community of practice sharing experience, insights and inspiration around community led tourism.

What is involved? 

Timing: This is a 12 day programme, currently being delivered entirely online. You're led by business experts, and work with a small group of participants on a video platform to explore topical issues. This includes: practical implications and solutions in relation to the tourism sector COVID-19 recovery; seeing what others are doing from a range of business, social enterprise and community case studies. You also have access to a wide range of online learning resources.

Proposed dates: The programme will start in January. Applications are open now, with a closing date of Monday December 7 at 5pm.


If you would like more information please get in touch with us.