The investment will support the delivery of nine different projects from across the region, including new visitor facilities, services and installations at mountain resorts, as well as investment to reduce carbon impacts at key visitor sites and buildings.
The financial support is being distributed by HIE on behalf of the Scottish Government, which has pledged £3.95m to help Scotland’s tourism industry be greener and more sustainable. This net zero commitment is one of 10 areas of priority within the £25m Scottish Tourism Recovery Programme.
In one of the projects, HIE is working closely with community groups across some of the most rural destinations, on the installation of EV charging points. The additional funding will help to ensure this vital service for our net zero future will be available across all parts of the Highlands and Islands.
The support will also contribute to a range of projects led by communities and social enterprises to invest in new bike infrastructure and trails, as well as increased availability of EV bike charging points and EV bicycles for use by visitors and the local community.
Anna Miller, head of tourism for HIE, said: “This is additional investment to support tourism projects deliver and enhance net zero benefits for local communities and their visitors.
“The tourism industry recognises the need to consider ways to reduce carbon emissions and to develop new experiences for visitors that are looking for sustainable and green approaches. This investment forms one part of the regional commitment to net zero and responsible tourism.”
Scottish Government Tourism Minister, Ivan McKee said:
“With less than a month to go until COP26, this funding will help tourism businesses the length and breadth of the Highlands and Islands to deliver on our net zero targets, reduce carbon emissions and develop innovative experiences for visitors.
“It is short term recovery funding, and part of a wider £25 million package of support, that will reap benefits for all of Scotland’s tourism industry as we move towards slower, greener and more sustainable tourism.”