New initiative supports sustainable tourism growth for Scotland

Darren Craig and Roland Smyth

INTERNATIONAL law firm CMS has launched a new sustainable tourism campaign today which aims to promote measured growth for the sector across Scotland. The new campaign comes as Scotland’s tourism industry continues to recover from the impact of Covid-19 restrictions amid a volatile economic climate which is creating further significant challenges. 

The sustainable tourism campaign will engage directly with a wide range of Scottish businesses operating within the sector including accommodation providers, restaurants, bars, travel agents, food and drink producers, and recreational and cultural venues. CMS colleagues from its hotels and leisure, food and drink, transport, employment, real estate and finance teams and other specialist areas of the firm will provide expert advice and guidance focused on addressing some of the key challenges facing the industry. 

These include a strong focus on people issues such as staff shortages, the impact of Brexit, and the need to enhance the hospitality sector’s reputation amongst potential employees. 

Environmental aspects of tourism are also a key aspect of the campaign, which will explore how the sector can contribute towards Net Zero while growing international visitor spend in Scotland. The CMS team will also share insights into the challenges facing tourism hotspots including Edinburgh and Skye, looking at how these areas can best manage sustainable growth and how the sector can be further developed in other regions of Scotland. 

Further areas being covered by the initiative include opportunites to grow food and drink and experiential tourism, plus the role technology has to play in supporting Scotland’s visitor offering. 

In its International Scotland report, which CMS compiled with the Fraser of Allander Institute, the firm recently reported how international tourism numbers to Scotland grew significantly since 2012 with visitor spending reaching an estimated £2.5bn in 2019.

Launching the new sustainable tourism initiative, Darren Craig, Managing Partner of CMS Edinburgh, said: “This new campaign aims to support one of our key economic sectors by focusing on how we can grow tourism in a sustainable manner and to the benefit of other sectors and regions across Scotland.“

Roland Smyth, Head of the CMS Scottish Hotels and Leisure Team, said: “The Scottish tourism industry benefits businesses and workers across the nation. It does however face ongoing challenges in its post-Covid recovery with growing concerns about the impact of the fragile global economy and current and potential legislative interventions that could affect businesses’ viability and ability to grow.

“With some of our key destinations operating at saturation point in certain times of the year, Scottish tourism also needs to find ways of diversifying its offering to promote other regions and increase visitor numbers during off-peak periods. 

“Through the sustainable tourism campaign, we look forward to further engaging with tourism and hospitality operators across Scotland to explore and promote the growth of a successful and sustainable tourism sector.”

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