Don't miss your chance to have your say on how tourism should develop in the south of Scotland

Members of the public in the South of Scotland are being urged to take part in an online survey about the area’s Regional Responsible Tourism Strategy, which is being developed collectively by the South of Scotland Destination Alliance (SSDA), South of Scotland Enterprise (SOSE), Scottish Borders Council, Dumfries & Galloway Council and VisitScotland.
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As agreed in the Delivery Plan of the South of Scotland’s Regional Economic Strategy (RES), all key agencies in the region are coming together in 2023 to develop and agree a single Responsible Tourism Strategy for the South of Scotland, with a clear Action Plan for successful delivery.

The five partner organisations are all working together to support the development of the strategy, which aims to ensure the South of Scotland has a sustainable, year-round tourism offer. All involved are committed to ensuring the strategy and action plan are genuinely informed by, and owned by, local businesses and communities, as well as public agencies. To achieve this, they want the process of strategy development to be as inclusive and as possible.

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Alongside a series of 27 in-person and digital meetings, being held right across the region, an online survey to inform the new Strategy and Action Plan will be live until September 15. The survey aims to capture the views of people throughout the South of Scotland, from tourism and hospitality businesses to community groups, residents and other stakeholders.

Jousting at Caerlaverock Castle – photo courtesy of Historic Environment ScotlandJousting at Caerlaverock Castle – photo courtesy of Historic Environment Scotland
Jousting at Caerlaverock Castle – photo courtesy of Historic Environment Scotland

The first draft of the Strategy and Action Plan is due to be published in the autumn and a second round of (mostly digital) consultations is planned to obtain business and community feedback on this draft, before anything is finalised. The five organisations aim to have the process complete, and the Strategy and Action Plan agreed by all parties, by the end of 2023.

David Hope-Jones OBE, South of Scotland Destination Alliance, said: “We’re really keen to hear from as many people in the South of Scotland as possible as we develop the Responsible Tourism Strategy. It’s about working collectively together, businesses and communities, to develop a sustainable, year-round tourism offering to benefit everyone who lives, works and visits here.”