Area Information

Ambitious for Tourism - Caithness and North Sutherland


With the decommissioning of Dounreay, HIE is working with partners to diversify the economy in Caithness and North Sutherland, to create a sustainable future for the region.  Tourism has been identified as a growth sector for the area, presenting opportunities for development. 

Ambitious for Tourism - Caithness and North Sutherland (ATCNS) is an HIE led initiative. Its aim is to bring together public and private businesses and encourage partnership working through a destination development approach.

Destination development working is about bringing businesses together that have a shared objective. Tourism businesses working alone can provide a good visitor experience; however, by working together the same businesses and their surrounding community can create great destinations, where everyone can benefit.

Hotels, activity providers, visitor attractions and community groups all play an important role in ensuring tourism is a positive part of the local and regional economy.

Management and delivery

HIE is the lead body for ATCNS, and will manage an annual cycle of updates, planning, monitoring of activity to inform and progress ATCNS destination development priorities on a 2 year basis.

Development priorities will be defined by HIE, with input from area, regional partners and the sector through the ATCNS partners group and the ATCNS Industry Forum. These priorities will be progressed as required and as appropriate.

ATCNS Partners group is intended to be representative of key bodies and organisations relevant to sector development. This partnership is intended to help ensure that relevant communications can be shared and input given on key sector development matters and opportunities to help maximise resources and avoid duplication.

ATCNS Industry Forum is intended to function as a business focussed panel through which HIE can gain insight, feedback and share sector information. The Forum will have a role in informing development priorities/ needs and shaping delivery objectives necessary to progressing destination development.

Keep up to date

  • ATCNS Partner meetings are proposed to take place 4 x per year.
  • ATCNS Industry forum meeting proposed 2 x year
  • ATCNS industry event 1 x year (tbc)
  • ATCNS updates will be regularly available via this web page. 



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