Our Mission

“Together we will create a world-leading premium environmental tourism brand. With communities, our ambassadors and partners, we will build on the Highlands’ natural, historic and cultural assets and showcase them to the world. We will work in partnership with stakeholders across all sectors to create a dynamic environment in which tourism businesses and their communities are supported and encouraged to become conscious hosts, ready to deliver the exceptional, immersive and authentic experiences that the growing conscious tourism market is now seeking. Ultimately, we will leverage this vision of a sustainable, wellbeing destination to position The Highlands as one of the world’s most inspiring and welcoming places to live, work, visit, study and invest.”

HT_Tomatin

Highland Tourism’s key role is to build awareness of the potential for a new kind of tourism. Tourism that attracts premium clients motivated by a deeper sense of place and awareness of the Highlands as a climate positive powerhouse. 

 

To do that, we need to have the whole highland community behind us. Both local communities and the businesses that power the tourist industry. Those two things are closely knit. Tourism is a mainstay of our Highland economy and for many Highland communities, it is THE mainstay. 

 

Highland Tourism will engage with and unite communities, businesses and organisations behind a shared vision. A vision that builds on the Highlands’ natural strengths and attractions. 

 

It will draw not just upon our awe-inspiring areas of wilderness and cultural heritage, but also the power of our renewables industry, rewilding and carbon capture programmes to address the global climate emergency. 

 

Arming our industry with that knowledge will foster confidence and optimism and generate the energy needed to go the extra mile. Bringing tourism offerings “up to spec” is critical. They must genuinely fit within the context of our premium environmental tourism brand – Escape to the Highlands – and deliver truly conscious tourism that will capture hearts and minds across the world. 

Hillwalkers on the West Highland Way look out toward Buachaille Etive Mor in Glencoe

Sharing the Vision

We believe the best way to get people on board and show them how they can step up to the plate is to demonstrate real examples of how the vision is already being realised by key players. By demonstrating how they are attracting visitors, presenting their offering and sharing their goals and aspirations, we can help the industry reshape itself and leverage the predicted growth and trends in tourism as the world emerges from the pandemic.

 

While its ultimate target will be visitors, the Escape to the Highlands website will initially play a vital role in communicating our vision internally within the Highland tourism community. We will cherry pick those businesses and communities that are already rising to the challenge and are awake to the possibilities of a new kind of tourism. By featuring them on the demonstration version of the website, we can help others realise the value of embracing and getting behind the Vision.

 

We will also source examples of premium environmental tourism from around the world that can help shape our vision and inspire our people. These will be shared across our B2B social media networks and promoted through our ambassador network.  

 

Learning new ways together

We will work with influencers, educators and trainers across the region to win support for the vision providing stimulus and understanding of the core values of conscious tourism and what is required to deliver it.

We will form working groups. bringing together key players, policy makers and influencers across the region to help drive the initiatives and policies needed to deliver a coherent improvement in sustainable infrastructure across the region. 

 

We will map offerings across the whole Highland region to ensure that we are making the most of every part of the region driving up visitors to areas that are off the beaten track and taking pressure off hotspots. This will help us reinforce the Highland’s exclusive and unspoilt reputation while still increasing potential visitor value and values.     

 

Escape to the Highlands will be our window for the world. As such it has to be flawless and clear and leave those looking through it feeling inspired and empowered. The people featured there must be passionate and what they are offering should draw the viewer in with the feeling that this meets all their aspirations for experiences that are not just life enhancing but life changing. A genuine escape from everything that worries and concerns them in everyday life. A reconnection with what is most important. People, place and planet.

 

A bigger vision for the Highlands

As we build awareness of the Highlands as a premium tourist destination, we will awaken a wider sense of the area as a place to stay for longer. The lifestyle we promote will encourage people to spend longer here, establish their own businesses here, study here,  want to work here, generally enjoy more fulfilling lives. This will enhance and provide a wider skillbase not just for our tourist industries but growing food, healthcare and renewables sectors too. 

 

The values that make conscious tourists and conscious hosts are ones most of us aspire to in our everyday lives and, by creating a place that makes that part of the landscape as a whole, we are creating a place that more and more people will want to call home.

 

This will be encapsulated in The Highlands brand – inspiring a better world

feeling inspired and empowered. The people featured there must be passionate and what they are offering should draw the viewer in with the feeling that this meets all their aspirations for experiences that are not just life enhancing but life changing. A genuine escape from everything that worries and concerns them in everyday life. A reconnection with what is most important. People, place and planet.

 

“Tourism has changed forever. The next 10-15 years will be a time of unprecedented experimentation where old formulas no longer hold true”
Professor Terry Stevens
Internationally renowned destination specialist and author

Yvonne Crook 
Highland Tourism CIC Chair,
Owner View Marketing
and Director Good Highland Food

 

Sam Faircliff
Highland Tourism CIC Vice Chair
and Managing Director Cairngorm Brewery

Fiona Larg MBE
Highland Tourism CIC Company Secretary, Chairperson SCDI Highlands & Islands committee and Chair Audit Committee, Law Society of Scotland

 

Chris O’Brien
Highland Tourism CIC Director and Chief Executive Officer, Nevis Range

 

 

Stuart McColm
Highland Tourism CIC Director and General Manager, Castle Stuart Golf Links

 

Willie Cameron
Highland Tourism CIC Director
& Business Development Director, Cobbs

 

George Baxter
Highland Tourism CIC Director and Director of Development,
GreenPower International

We have already:

Researched trends and best practice in international tourism development with the support of specialists 


Realised the need for a strategic plan for tourism development in the Highlands 

 

Created Highland Tourism –  A Community Interest Company 


Developed a professional image
and communications plan 


Brought together a Board of experienced and energetic Directors including a highly experienced Company Secretary


Secured £25,000 of private
starter funding 


Committed to the UN World Tourism Organisation Sustainable Development Goals 

Secured the support of a green
energy consultant 

 

Joined the Tourism Futures Coalition 

 

Participated in the Tourism Declares Initiative 

 

Secured funding from Scotland Food and Drink to drive development of a food tourism initiative 

 

Held a series of talks and hustings to inspire and engage communities
about tourism 

 

Established Escape to the Highlands – a Highland Tourism marketing brand / initiative 

 

Secured support from SCDI 

 

Prepared a business plan for a £3.5 million investment in tourism development over three years 


Developed a crowd-funding platform and marketing campaign


Secured PR sponsorship from
Kane Media and Accountancy sponsorship from Azets 


Been shortlisted in the ‘Ones to Watch’ Category in the Social Enterprise Scotland Awards 

palying part

You can support Highland Tourism as a sponsor, an ambassador or a strategic partner. 

Encouraging more ambassadors to get on board will be invaluable and you may have suppliers and business associates that can join the suppliers group. 

 

Your role as an individual will bring collective strength and ensure Highland Tourism is widely adopted as an impactful Community Interest Company, developing an ambitious, sustainable future for tourism in the Highlands. 

Please contact us