South of Scotland Responsible Tourism Strategy 2024-2034

Responsible Tourism Strategy
A Responsible Tourism Strategy for the South of Scotland
10 Year Tourism Strategy

The South of Scotland Destination Alliance (SSDA), VisitScotland, South of Scotland Enterprise (SOSE), Dumfries and Galloway Council, Scottish Borders Council and all relevant public bodies have together launched a ten-year South of Scotland Responsible Tourism Strategy (2024-34), which will:

  • increase our visitor economy by £1 billion, to £1.76bn by 2034.
  • support a further 6,000 jobs, to 20,000 FTE posts by 2034.

The Strategy was written through an inclusive, transparent and far-reaching consultation process, involving hundreds of businesses, communities and key individuals, with: 14 in-person meetings across the region (receiving over 3,500 data submissions), 13 digital thematic meetings, 20 deep-dive one-to-one meetings, visitor sentiment tracking, an open online consultation, two meetings of the Regional Economic Partnership, and extensive business engagement.

The Responsible Tourism Strategy is an integral part of the overarching Regional Economic Strategy and has been formally welcomed and endorsed by the Convention of the South of Scotland. 

It sets out how, together, we will transform our visitor economy by:

a)     extending the season and developing the South of Scotland as a year-round 'rural escape' destination for the 14m people within 2-4 hours travel time
b)     becoming a 'go to' rather than a 'go through' destination
c)     increasing international visitor numbers, who spend significantly more and stay longer than domestic visitors.

22 key areas of work are identified in the strategy, across four strands:

  1. Inspire visitors to come to the South of Scotland
  2. Develop the visitor experience, with a focus on quality
  3. Support business to succeed
  4. Act responsibly for long-term collective benefit

Behind the Strategy is a detailed three-year (2024-27) Action Plan.  For each of the 109 actions identified, the Action Plan states:

  • which organisation has lead responsibility for delivery and which others are supporting
  • how these actions will be delivered
  • what indicative timescales will be followed
  • what, together, we aim to have achieved by 2027. 
A Responsible Tourism Strategy for the South of Scotland - Action Plan
The Strategy has been enthusiastically welcomed by business and communities.

Of those who have given feedback:

84% felt there had been an inclusive, transparent and fair consultation

93% felt the views they shared in the consultation are represented in the strategy

95% saw themselves being involved in the delivery of the strategy

97% saw themselves benefiting from the strategy

We will, together, make the South of Scotland the most sustainable, talked about, successful, energetic, and coveted destination in Scotland. Because #ScotlandStartsHere. Join us on this journey.