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Cta Man
Bikers stop to take a selfie next to river in the Cairngorms National park

Tourism

Supporting our region to maximise the economic, community and cultural benefits of tourism, while safeguarding our unique assets.

The new tourism

With an average pre-COVID visitor spend of £1.5bn in the region, 3,200 registered tourism businesses locally, and with tourism jobs representing up to 43% of the workforce in some areas, tourism is central to Highlands and Islands life. It sustains many of our local, regional and island economies and communities. 

The tourism and hospitality sector has been one of the worst hit from the COVID-19 pandemic. An Ekosgen report published by HIE estimates that visitor spend here is likely to have declined by between £370m–£584m in the financial year 2020-21. Alongside our public sector partners, we're doing all we can to support the response and recovery measures to help our industry get back on its feet.

We’re here to help local enterprises as they look at operating safely, innovating ways of doing business, and meeting the increased demand for sustainable, authentic experiences full of adventure.

How we can help you with tourism priorities, products and services

Review and innovate your processes, go digital, and get specialist industry advice. Scroll here to find more information.

Getting back to business

Looking for a comprehensive overview of all the available products, services and events available across the public sector partners in Scotland? You'll find it here.

Find Business Support

Tourism Sector Support

VisitScotland has information on available funding, the latest research and more.

VisitScotland industry information
Man using hotdesking facilities in Horizon Scotland

Investments to sustain tourism and support local recovery

£59.5

through grants and support for the region’s tourism sector

633k

HIE funding for tourism’s digital enablement 2020/21

£3m

for destination management organisations

23%

of HIE tourism investments going to social enterprises

Latest tourism news for the region

Find out more about projects and investments across the area.

Meet some of our tourism enterprises

Businesses and community organisations are delivering a wide range of innovative projects across the region. Here are just a few of them.

Skidbladner Rob Brookes

Unst in Shetland

When tourism assets are owned and managed by communities themselves there can be huge benefits in community wealth building.

Find out more about the range of community-led tourism work on the UK's most northerly island.

Visit Unst
Bikes And Loch Ness Hub

Loch Ness Hub

Despite the COVID-19 lockdown the Community Interest Company Loch Ness Hub has renovated the disused Tourist Information Centre in Drumnadrochit.

Offering expanded and green services it will be the area's new one stop shop for information, baggage transfer service, an e-bike facility and will sell local products.

Loch Ness Hub
Gavin and Penny Ellis outside Knockomie Hotel by Forres

Knockomie Inn

Gavin and Penny Ellis have run the Knockomie Inn in Moray for more than 25 years.

Here they share their experiences of the pandemic (recorded in 2020) and share ideas on safe re-opening.

Knockomie Inn
Uig Hotel

Uig Hotel

Pre COVID Billy and Anne Harley embarked on an ambitious growth plan for their 18-bedroom Uig Hotel.

Find out more about their international marketing plan.

Uig Hotel, Isle of Skye
Jurassic Skye

Technology and Heritage

We're supporting an EU North Sea Interreg project called CUPIDO. Tourism organisations are learning how digital technology can open up access to our unique history and heritage.

Find out about some of the projects using 3d, virtual reality, and more to bring their histories to life.

Cupido project
Glenfinnan Viaduct scenic view

West Highland Community Tourism

To support COVID-19 recovery, HIE has invested £440,000 in 14 West Highland tourism facilities, from Gairloch to Kilchoan.

All run by the community, the attractions are investing in infrastructure to support the return of visitors.

See what they're doing in our feature.

West Highland Tourism

For our visitors

If you're looking for an introduction to our unforgettable region, you can find all the hints and tips you'll need here.

Visit us

Welcome

Gaelic Tourism Strategy

The Gaelic Tourism Strategy for Scotland was launched in October 2018 and highlighted that the Gaelic language and its associated culture represents a compelling opportunity for the Scottish Tourism industry as a unique selling point and authentic part of the experience of visiting Scotland.

Gaelic Tourism Strategy

Tourism Kayaking
Calanais Standing Stones

Partner organisations

We work in partnership with the Scottish Government, VisitScotland and other public sector agencies, local authorities, industry, communities and more. By working together, we can better support sustainable growth of the tourism sector.

The Scottish Tourism Alliance (STA) is the industry membership body for Scotland’s tourism industry and leading representative of the issues and challenges facing the industry.

Connect with the Scottish Tourism Alliance

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