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Programme for Government 2021-22

Wed 8 Sep 21

A Fairer, Greener Scotland

Leading Scotland safely out of the pandemic, urgently confronting climate change, driving a green, fair economic recovery, and boosting opportunities for children and young people are among the core priorities in this year’s Programme for Government (PfG), published today.

A Fairer, Greener Scotland centres on rebuild after COVID, challenging inequality, mitigating consequences of Brexit and tackling the climate crisis.

Where does tourism and events come in?

In relation to tourism, the PfG notes “Effective recovery will be vital in ensuring the [tourism] sector can be a force for good in the local and national economy – through fair work, sustainable jobs, and value for communities - and place Scotland as a world leader in responsible tourism.”

VisitScotland will be central to delivering, supporting and communicating many of the tourism and events related action points. These include:

  • Implementing the recommendations of the Tourism Recovery Taskforce, including the £25 million package to be delivered in 2021‑22 as well as considering the best approach to future years. This includes activity already being delivered by VisitScotland, including our Destination and Sector Marketing Fund, ScotSpirit Holiday Voucher Scheme and others. 
  • Maintaining investment of over £6 million annually in the Rural Tourism Infrastructure Fund, administered by VisitScotland
  • Extending the non‑domestic rates (NDR) reliefs which were brought in at the start of the pandemic. This will apply to properties in the retail, leisure, aviation and hospitality sectors for all of 2021-22
  • Developing tourism infrastructure, in both urban and rural areas, investing £10 million in initiatives like the Inverness Castle Project and Lossiemouth East Beach footbridge, and improving rural hotel facilities
  • Refreshing and reinvigorating Brand Scotland activity. Over the next year a new brand marque will be established, and campaign activity will continue
  • Collaborating with Scotland’s airports to help restore lost connectivity, and grow international connectivity, while not returning to previous levels of emissions
  • Confirming 2022 as Scotland’s Year of Stories, encouraging both locals and visitors to explore the places, people and culture connected to Scotland’s stories
  • Continuing to work with the events sector on recovery and the review of our national events strategy, which has been delayed by the pandemic
  • Tying in with the Cycling World Championships in 2023, to encourage Scots to take up cycling and reap the benefits for their health, a new £8 million Cycling Facilities Investment Fund will roll out ahead of the championships
  • Working with UK and Republic of Ireland to progress a joint bid to host the 2030 FIFA world cup

The document also covers areas which will affect and benefit tourism and events, where VisitScotland may have a role to play. These include transport developments, culture, people and skills, disability and equality, business and digital and food and drink.

Further information

The Programme for Government is published every year at the beginning of September and sets out the actions we will take in the coming year and beyond. Read the full Programme for Government 2021-22.

Read the First Minister statement to the Scottish Parliament, 7 September 2021.

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