About Highland Tourism

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.”

Highland Tourism CIC and Highland Renewables is a private sector partnership that shares a vision for the Highlands to become a world leading sustainable destination. The CIC is a social enterprise that will reinvest all profits and surpluses for wider economic benefit and social and environmental purposes. To date, the CIC has invested £600,000 of private sector resources in a mission to establish a strategic and aspirational brand strategy for the Highlands as a premium environmental destination.

In the next year, an investment of circa £1m of private sector resources will be made through this innovative partnership, aiming to address a series of issues and opportunities that will significantly benefit the Highland economy, communities and environment.

By 2026, we aim to ensure circa £10m is invested per annum, working with key stakeholders in the Highlands to align tourism investment, including private and public sector investment and new monies from tourism tax ensuring they are all invested in brand Highlands – a world-leading premium environmental destination.

A new study (September 2023) into the potential economic, social and environmental benefits of investment in the Highland tourism sector has been revealed by international tourism consultancy Stevens & Associates. The study conducted with tourism body Highland Tourism CIC and Highland Renewables shows that investing around £10m annually in regional tourism could return £400m per annum.

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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

The Fall of Foyers is a waterfall on the River Foyers, which feeds Loch Ness, in Highland, Scotland, United Kingdom. The waterfall is "a fine cascade", having a fall of 165 feet. It is located on the lower portion of the River Foyers.

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.

 

Scottish trad band Rhythm'n'Reel perform at the Belladrum Tartan Heart Festival 2017, near Beauly, in the Scottish Highlands.

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.