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Parliamentary debates and questions

S5W-14766: John Finnie (Highlands and Islands)

Scottish Green Party

Date lodged: 20 February 2018

To ask the Scottish Government, in light of the comment by VisitScotland in the paper, Adapting the UK to Climate Change, that “wildlife tourism brings much needed income to some of the less affluent regions in Scotland”, what analysis it has conducted on the potential impact of unsustainable development on wildlife tourism.

Answered by: Fiona Hyslop 26 February 2018

VisitScotland is not a regulatory body nor a statutory consultee on matters of nature conservation and has therefore has not conducted any research in this area. As a public body however, it is obliged to report on the activity it carries out to support biodiversity every 3 years and VisitScotland will publish its report on the VisitScotland website shortly.

Additionally, VisitScotland recognises that Scotland’s wildlife and natural beauty are a major draw for visitors. The latest Visitor Survey 2015 and 2016, highlights that Scotland’s natural environment, including its wildlife, is the number one reason why people visit Scotland. VisitScotland is committed to safeguarding the assets which draw tourists to Scotland and works closely with businesses, local authorities and government agencies to promote sustainable tourism and ensure that economic development, as a result of tourism, is a positive experience for everyone involved including the local community, tourism businesses and visitors.