Scotland’s landscapes, wildlife and outdoor activities are consistently given as the top reasons for tourists to visit our country.
Tourism is one of seven growth industries in Scotland, contributing more than £4 billion to our economy each year. The natural environment is a key tourism asset with our scenery and landscapes being the highest motivation for people to visit Scotland. Spending on nature-based tourism is estimated to contribute nearly 40% of all tourism spend supporting 39,000 full time equivalent jobs.
NatureScot’s (NatureScot’s) vision is for all visitors to have the opportunity to enjoy and appreciate Scotland’s nature as part of a high quality visitor experience.
You can read how we’re working to achieve this in our Statement of NatureScot’s approach and contribution to Scottish tourism.
Everyone can help keep Scotland special. You can contribute to sustainable tourism by respecting our environment, travelling lightly, reducing your impacts and supporting and investing in local communities.
Promoting nature tourism opportunities
NatureScot helps to inspire people to connect with nature and landscapes. Try the links below to help you find some great outdoor experiences. Why not also follow us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.
- National Nature Reserves (NNRs) are amazing places to visit and learn about our wildlife and landscapes.
- Scotland’s Great Trails are a network of long distance routes but also great for day trips or weekend breaks.
- Explore for a Day (series of 14 leaflets), Caithness and Sutherland – Places to visit for wildlife and landscape, North West Seaboard – Places to visit for wildlife and landscapes in Wester Ross and West Sutherland. These leaflets suggest a mix of cultural and natural places to go and route itineraries in 14 different areas across Scotland.
- Scottish Outdoor Access Code – Enjoy Scotland’s amazing outdoors responsibly! Whether you’re enjoying fresh air in a local park, walking the dog, hillwalking, mountain biking, horse riding or kayaking, this is the place to find out about your access rights and responsibilities.
- National Walking and Cycling network – Find local links from near where you live for day trips and longer outdoor visits.
- Wild Scotland – Use this website to look for adventure and nature tourism activity providers who have signed up to a responsible Code of Practice.
NatureScot works with a range of partners and stakeholders such as the Scottish Government, VisitScotland, the Scottish Tourism Alliance, Wild Scotland and a range of other destination management organisations and tourism interest groups.
Watch our three-minute film to hear why tourism businesses value Scotland’s environment so much.
- Assessing the economic impacts of nature based tourism in Scotland; NatureScot Commissioned Report No.398 – this research identifies sustainable tourism indicators and benchmarks Scotland’s performance on sustainable tourism. The summary is a useful introduction for tourism businesses on some key nature based tourism sectors.