Local News

Supporting Orkney’s Tourism Sector to Net Zero

VisitScotland is launching a series of new online resources to help tourism businesses in Orkney consider how they can tackle climate change and meet consumer needs.  

a flower in amongst stones still managing to grow
Image credit: Rosie Hopkins

Hosted on VisitScotland.org, the climate action planning guide includes practical step-by-step advice for businesses on how to create and manage a climate action plan.   It was created in partnership with Green Tourism and The Edinburgh Climate Change Institute, as part of the Destination Net Zero programme.  

The new online resource includes dedicated advice on:  

  • Identifying carbon emissions
  • Measuring business carbon emissions
  • How to reduce carbon emissions 
  • Adapting to climate change 
  • Supporting nature-based solutions to climate change 
  • Communicating and collaborating on climate change  

Small Business, Innovation and Trade Minister Richard Lochhead said: 

“Scotland is blessed with natural beauty, vibrant cities, rich historical sites, white sand beaches and rolling hills, and it is these natural and cultural assets that draw visitors from near and far.  In order to protect and preserve these assets, many of Scotland’s tourism businesses and organisations are leading the way on taking decisive action to mitigate the impact tourism has on climate change. The climate action planning guide will play an important role in helping support Scotland’s tourism sector transition to a low carbon future through globally recognised leadership in responsible, sustainable managed growth in accordance with Scotland Outlook 2030, Scotland’s national tourism strategy.”  

white sands and blue seas and skies in Stronsay

 A climate action plan has become a recognisable tool for understanding how the transition to low carbon will affect businesses, communities, and the environment. It sets out implementable actions that can help increase efficiency to reduce costs and build resilience.  The new resource also aims to help tourism businesses cater for visitors who are keen to make more responsible travel choices.

Rob Dickson, VisitScotland’s Director of Industry and Destination Development, said: 

“It’s hugely encouraging and inspiring to hear that so many businesses are already taking action to address the threat of climate change.  With this comprehensive new guide we want to help as many people as possible across our valuable tourism and events industry take that crucial next step on their journey to net zero. A climate plan allows businesses to understand their emissions and then take the appropriate action to reduce them. Not only will this action help reach the Scottish Government’s net zero target, for a business it will also help them meet the needs of their guests and in some situations reduce costs.  By working together, we can create a long-lasting sustainable tourism destination, which will protect the environment and benefit visitors and residents alike.”  

 Destination Net Zero is a Scottish Government tourism recovery funded project, delivered by Scottish Enterprise (SE), VisitScotland, HIE and SoSE and partners, which aims to support tourism businesses and destinations as they transition to a greener, more sustainable future  

an enormous cruise ship in Kirkwall harbour with 2 tiny yachts in comparison at the regatta
The 130th Kirkwall Regatta 2019 and the cruise ship Costa Mediterranean Sea. Image credit Kenny Armet

Andrea Nicholas, Green Tourism Chief Executive, added: 

“With over 1000 members in Scotland, we are proud to partner with VisitScotland and ECCI to develop this practical and user-friendly guide to help businesses to manage the challenges andmaximise the opportunities presented by the transition to low carbon and meeting the target of net zero emissions by 2045.    

  “The modular design of the guide with downloadable templates, checklists, and way to calculate emissions, provides businesses with all the tools they need to develop a climate action plan in their own time and including aspects that are relevant to their specific resources, operations, and reporting requirements.   This is so important for the future sustainability of the tourism industry, the people and places of Scotland and ultimately our planet.  “  

  To find out more about the climate action planning guide visit: www.visitscotland.org/climate-action-plan  

A road in Orphir with the green fields either side and in the low hills in the distance
Image credit Bell

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