The Highland Council’s tourism role is focused largely on tourism development rather than marketing and promotion (which is carried out by VisitScotland and local Destination Organisations). In particular our role includes
- Assisting in the development of tourism strategies for Highland
- Providing much of the infrastructure used by visitors
- Management of facilities and services for visitors
- Supporting tourism businesses and business groups
In doing this we work closely with Destination Organisations in a number of areas of the Highlands. They include:
- Venture North – Caithness and Sutherland
- Visit Wester Ross
- Black Isle Tourism Team
- Skye Connect
- Visit Inverness Loch Ness – Inverness City, Loch Ness and surrounding area
- Nairn Connects
- Outdoor Capital of the UK - Fort William and Lochaber
- Cairngorms Business Partnership - Aviemore and the Cairngorms
As part of our support for businesses as Covid restrictions are removed, we are also able to apply some discretion around the need for planning permission. In particular we recognise the demand from motorhome owners for small, simple and low-cost opportunities for short stopovers. We will work with potential providers to address some of the pressures anticipated during the 2022 season. More details on this are available on our Highland Motorhome Stopover Sites page.
Rural Tourism Infrastructure Fund/Strategic Tourism Infrastructure Development Plan
The Rural Tourism Infrastructure Fund (RTIF) was established by the Scottish Government in 2017 and is managed by VisitScotland on their behalf. The fund supports collaborative projects across rural parts of Scotland that focus on improving the visitor experience. This is achieved by reducing pressure on infrastructure and negative impacts on communities due to large increases in visitor numbers. Since the fund was established, we have been awarded over £5 million in funding across 29 projects.
In late 2021, VisitScotland announced RTIF would focus on a more strategic approach to visitor infrastructure development. The Highland Council received additional funding to produce a Strategic Tourism Infrastructure Development Plan that would identify the key priorities for future RTIF support, over the next 3 to 5 years.
To find out more about the Rural Tourism Infrastructure Fund including how to apply, go to Visit Scotland.