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Adventure Tourism is growing rapidly in Scotland – could your business be part of the success story?

Read on to find out...

What is the Let’s Grow Adventure Tourism Programme?

Adventure and outdoor activities are expected to grow in popularity in the post COVID-19 world. Adventure tourism can be anything from adrenaline-fuelled activities such as mountain biking and rafting, to more gentle experiences such as foraging and wild camping.

The Let’s Grow Adventure Tourism programme brings like minded businesses together and with the help of industry experts, you will have the opportunity to collaborate, create scale and develop an understanding of new consumer markets.

Adventure tourism businesses, both large and small, who are located in the Highlands and Islands are invited to register interest.

What format will the programme take?

Benefiting from fully flexible business support, and the opportunity to link up with like-minded businesses, 90 adventure tourism businesses from across the Highlands and Islands will be supported through a series of specialist workshops with inspiring speakers, combined with one-to-one expert support and advice.

Part of the programme includes a residential event, however if there are still restrictions due to COVID-19 when this element is due to take place, we'll make arrangements to take this online. During the event, businesses will benefit from a break away from normal business surroundings and have the opportunity to make new contacts, share ideas with the other participants and network with speakers too.

How much will taking part cost?

The programme is fully funded for businesses (excluding travel costs), however there will be a cost in terms of time. Before deciding to apply, you should be sure the proposed staff member is able to commit a maximum of 10 days to the programme, spaced across a number of months, and is able to arrange transport to the workshop location which will be within your business' local geography.

Who's it for?

The programme is open to individuals and small businesses operating in the adventure tourism sector and located in the Highlands and Islands.

The programme is designed for motivated and enthusiastic business owners, directors or senior personnel of established and aspiring businesses. You will currently have a key and active role in the business and be keen to develop your business and personal skills, capabilities and industry connections. 

Apply today and together, Let’s Grow Adventure Tourism!


Please complete the form to register your interest in ‘Let’s Grow Adventure Tourism’. This is the first step in a 2-stage application process.

Register your interest

Watch our video: The Highlands of Scotland - home of adventure and opportunity.


By taking part, you will:

  • Gain valuable insights into emerging local, national and international trends to better understand the new challenges and opportunities for adventure tourism businesses in the Highlands.
  • Understand Scotland’s visitors, target the right markets and learn how to use market research effectively.
  • Learn how to keep your business up to date and reap the benefits of using technology to increase your profit margins and overall client experience.
  • Understand how the experience economy works within tourism and add value to your products.
  • Understand the benefits and requirements of working with the travel trade, online travel agents and 3rd party intermediaries.
  • Explore the best ways to reach your market, including online platforms, working with the travel trade, the role of exhibitions and trade shows, and through collaboration.
  • Develop a tailored business development plan for your business.


The programme is being delivered through the Northern Innovation Hub by HIE and in partnership with Business Tourism Solutions in conjunction with Lochaber Chamber of Commerce.

They’ll support you every step of the way by taking your own ambitions, thoughts and business outlook to the next level, and help you create and develop authentic and memorable adventure tourism experiences.

Programme structure

The programme will be delivered to nine cohorts with up to 10 people in each. Two cohorts will take place in 2020-2021 and a further seven in 2021-2022. Each cohort will include a mix of adventure tourism businesses from a certain geography within the Highlands and Islands. Have a look below to find out what each workshop will cover.

One-to-one support throughout the duration of the programme.

Alongside the below workshops, one-to-one business improvement sessions will be scheduled with each participating business every month. These are designed to provide bespoke guidance and an opportunity for discussion with mentors experienced in adventure tourism.

Outcome: Creation of a business improvement plan that is unique to your business.

Workshop 1 theme: adventure tourism market insights

Objective: Understand your businesses market position.

Through several sessions looking at market insights, the impact of COVID-19 on the adventure sector both nationally and internationally. As well as looking at the local tourism landscape, you will gain knowledge that will allow you to develop your business and marketing plan in a way that meets the new challenges and demands that are emerging in a post-Covid-19 world.

Outcome: Development of a post COVID-19 business and marketing plan.


Workshop 2 theme: the digital age and the experience economy within tourism

Objective: Understand the role of digital technologies within adventure tourism and identify how your business can transform experiences to meet the demands of a digital world.

This workshop focuses on the digital experience and includes sessions on how to use data in the tourism industry, technological solutions for your business, as well as looking at ‘Experiential Tourism’ and what this means to tourists today.

Outcome: Development of an  individual tourism experiences and preparing a digital development activity plan.

Workshop 3 theme: adventure tourism – an international perspective

Objective: Gain an insight into best practices from a range of destinations. Topics include: sustainability, products and experiences, marketing and promotion.

Workshop 3 and 4 will take place during an overnight residential stay (COVID-19 guidance dependent), designed to remove participants from their usual method of working and allow greater opportunity for networking and building relationships within the cohort. The residential will take place in an ‘adventure’ related destination and include a range of guest speakers.

Outcome: Gain insight into a range of adventure product from around the world, identify how this could influence your own business. Identify methods for aligning your business with future sustainability expectations.

Workshop 4 theme:  sustainability, buzz word or the new reality? 

Objective: Gain an insight into best practices from a range of destinations, topics include but are not limited to: Sustainability, product and experiences, marketing and promotion.

Workshop 3 and 4 will take place during an overnight residential stay (COVID-19 guidance dependent), designed to remove participants from their usual method of working and allow greater opportunity for networking and building relationships within the cohort. The residential will take place in an ‘adventure’ related destination and include a range of guest speakers.

Outcome: Methods identified for aligning your business with future sustainability expectations. 

Workshop 5 theme: routes to market and understanding the travel trade

Objective: Understand a variety of routes to market, identify those suitable to your own business model and aspirations.

The fifth workshop looks at marketing and how to reach a variety of audiences. Individual sessions will focus on direct marketing, the travel trade and intermediaries as well as working with tour operators including pricing and commissions.

Outcome: Development of a 2021/2022 marketing plan.

Workshop 6 theme: how was it for you? 

Objective: Share business improvement plans and explore the next steps for your business.

The final workshop will look back at previous sessions and provide an opportunity to recap or revisiting of topics. There will also be an opportunity for individuals to share key learnings and present individual business improvement plans, as well as discussion on future opportunities such as engagement with the programme ‘alumni’.

Outcome: Practical roadmap established for your products and business.

Programme FAQs download

Download a copy of our programme FAQs. It's a handy guide reminding you what to expect whilst taking part, and don't forget to share it with others who may also benefit from taking part. 

Programme Terms and Conditions

Let’s Grow Adventure Tourism terms and conditions dated September 2021

By taking part in this programme with HIE, you are entering into a contract. Please refer to the Terms and Conditions for more information. 

General Terms and Conditions - Let's Grow Adventure Tourism

Wild Scotland logo 2
We are delighted to support this initiative. There are incredible opportunities ahead for our sector and this help and support could not come at a more crucial time.
Wild Scotland represent the Wildlife, Adventure and Activity sector in Scotland

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Register your interest today!

To express an interest in the ‘Let’s Grow Adventure Tourism’ programme, please fill in the form. If you would like further information, email us at

Register your interest

Find out more about who's delivering the programme

We appointed Business Tourism Solutions, a specialist marketing and business development company, in February 2020 to lead the programme development.

This intensive adventure tourism support programme is believed to be the first of its kind with an investment of more than £350,000 in the sector.

Read more in our press release


About the Northern Innovation Hub

The Let's Grow Adventure Tourism business development programme is being delivered through the Northern Innovation Hub. It's part of the Inverness and Highland City-Region Deal - a joint initiative supported by £315m investment from the UK and Scottish governments, The Highland Council, HIE and University of the Highlands and Islands. This programme also receives financial support from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) through the Innovation strategic intervention.

Find out more about the Northern Innovation Hub, the programmes being delivered and how you can participate in other programmes. 

Go to the Northern Innovation Hub


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