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VisitScotland partners with The Travel Corporation and the Travel Foundation

Walkers on Conic Hill. (Photo: VisitScotland, Kenny Lam).

Innovative new partnership supports tourism’s transition to a low carbon economy.

VisitScotland has launched an innovative new partnership that will focus on the challenge of how to reduce carbon emissions in the tourism supply chain. This partnership with global tour operator and leader in sustainable travel, The Travel Corporation (TTC), and international sustainable tourism organisation, The Travel Foundation, aims to inspire and support climate action within Scotland’s tourism industry and represents a huge opportunity to influence and drive change with businesses, visitors and destinations.

It is the first time that VisitScotland and any global tour operator have committed to work together to share learnings, insights and support each other in accelerating change and being part of the climate change solution. The overall goal of the project in the long term is to accelerate the de-carbonisation of the tourism supply chain in Scotland and it is anticipated that the learnings from the project will be of international relevance.

The focus will be on developing and delivering responsible tourism experiences and itineraries which aim to have a positive social or environmental impact on communities and those who experience them.

The partnership will look at every touchpoint in the supply chain that a visitor experiences. For consumers looking for positive impact experiences in Scotland, the project aims to make selecting a travel provider that prioritises sustainability easier, giving them the opportunity to discover local stories, enjoy authentic experiences and see how their visit contributes to local communities.

Scotland’s tourism industry recognises the need for change with 75% of businesses aware of the Scottish Government’s net zero target for 2045.* For its part, The Travel Corporation is the first global tour operator to achieve validated near term, long term and net zero targets.

Together they will support businesses seeking to take steps to reduce their carbon emissions and offer sustainable options. This project will encourage tourism businesses in Scotland to see the business case for responsible, low-carbon development, and it will enable consumers to choose responsible products and tours.


Loch Morlich (Photo: VisitScotland, Airborne Lens).

Businesses from around Scotland took part in a webinar this week to find out more about the partnership and opportunities presented by the growing market of environmentally conscious consumers. They also heard from Scottish businesses who shared their experience of the benefits and opportunities of investing in a responsible future.

VisitScotland provides dedicated support and resources to help businesses reduce their carbon emissions, including a Climate Action Planning guide. Supporting Scotland’s transition to a low carbon economy is a key part of VisitScotland’s work to support the national tourism strategy Scotland Outlook 2030 Responsible Tourism for a Sustainable Future, and this new partnership is a significant part of planned activity for the year.

VisitScotland Chief Executive, Malcolm Roughead OBE said: “This important new partnership marks an exciting milestone in our ambitions to becoming a leading destination for responsible tourism. It will allow us to share learnings and insights with the aim of accelerating Scottish tourism’s journey to net zero. 

“Visitors come to Scotland to enjoy our stunning natural and cultural heritage, and we need to protect these assets for the future. Despite the challenges facing our tourism industry, many businesses recognise the importance of taking action, and the benefits – both ethically and economically – that can come with doing that.

“We know that transitioning to a low carbon economy is a challenge, and not something that we can do alone.”

Shannon Guihan, Chief Sustainability Officer, The Travel Cooperation said: “We’re thrilled to partner with VisitScotland on this, a collaboration that takes a long-term approach, and places equal emphasis on both community benefit and the path to net zero. The latter challenge requires both sides – the destination and the tour provider – to address the elements that are within their purview, in order to see genuine advancement.”

Rebecca Armstrong, Sustainable Tourism Specialist at the Travel Foundation said: “This partnership and its supply-side focus is a demonstration of what we need to move the needle on climate action in tourism. It’s not only a golden opportunity for Scottish businesses to access vital support, resources, and expertise, but also a deeper exploration into the broader challenges which can hinder the scaling and acceleration of low-carbon operations, with a view to unlocking solutions.

“These invaluable lessons won’t stay confined to Scotland – they’ll resonate globally through our wider programmes, placing Scotland and TTC at the forefront of shaping the future of tourism in a decarbonised world.”


*VisitScotland Tourism Industry Net Zero Survey (2021)

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Theodore is the Co-Founder and Managing Editor of TravelDailyNews Media Network; his responsibilities include business development and planning for TravelDailyNews long-term opportunities.