Responsible Tourism Strategy
Consultation on Draft
The Consultation Process
Throughout 2023, the SSDA has been working in close partnership with VisitScotland, Scottish Borders Council, D&G Council and SOSE, to develop a South of Scotland Responsible Tourism Strategy which sets an ambitious ten-year vision for our visitor economy. The strategy is an integral part of the overarching Regional Economic Strategy and will underpin every relevant agency’s work on tourism and hospitality over the coming decade.
We have had an inclusive, transparent and far-reaching consultation process, involving hundreds of businesses, communities and key individuals, with: 14 in-person meetings across the region (receiving over 3,500 data submissions), 13 digital thematic meetings, 20 deep-dive one-to-one meetings, visitor sentiment tracking, an open online consultation, two meetings of the Regional Economic Partnership, and extensive business engagement.
In keeping with our commitment to transparency, we are delighted to share the input we received through these consultations, including:
- The formal record from all 14 in-person meetings (Galashiels, Loch Ken, Dumfries, Kelso, Moffat, Annan, Duns, Eyemouth, Selkirk, Sanquhar, Hawick, Peebles, Newton Stewart, Stranraer)
- WordClouds showing how all 14 areas see the South of Scotland
- AI-generated collation of all data received, across all consultation modalities.
The Drafting Process
The five partner agencies (SSDA, SOSE, VS, DGC, SBC) then had an independent expert collate all input from the consultations and make formal recommendations from this data, which informed an initial draft of the strategy.
This first draft was taken to: the Strategy Advisory Group, made up of key stakeholders and industry representatives; a further group of elected business leaders; and then the Regional Economic Partnership. Encouragingly, the consistent steer from all was to ‘dial up the ambition’!
With these steers, an updated second draft was written, with increased ambition, vision and leadership for the South of Scotland. We are delighted to now share this draft with all those who fed into the consultation.
Following the above web-links, you can see what businesses and communities said in each of the consultation meetings, how this tracks through to the AI-generated aggregation of data from all meetings, and how this in turn has informed the strategy.
All points that came up multiple times in the consultation are featured in the AI-generated summary document and all have carried through to the latest draft of the Strategy. We are therefore confident that we have listened to and acted on, what we have heard from businesses and communities.
About This Draft:
We are keen to emphasise that this is a draft, text-only, version. The final document will feel more firmly grounded in the South of Scotland.
We recognise that different audiences have different preferences as far as layout, length and language. As a region we need a detailed full strategy document (not least to be able to draw funding into the South) but we recognise that most readers will just be looking for the toplines. Therefore, while we will have the full final PDF document publicly available once finalised, we will also have a far more engaging and interactive online version, which will let businesses and communities understand at a glance what we’re wanting to achieve and how they can get involved, only digging down into the detail they are specifically interested in.
Read the second draft of the Responsible Tourism Strategy.
Do also book your place at the SSDA’s Annual Conference on the 20th March 2024 which will be the formal launch of the strategy and will go through every section, actively exploring how we will all work together to deliver the strategy.
Consultation on the Responsible Tourism Strategy Draft digital Meeting
Held on the 18th January 2024