SOCIAL ENTERPRISE NEWS
The Highlands of Scotland, sitting on the periphery of Western Europe, has always been a fragile economy.
Over the years, many studies have questioned and examined the role of social enterprise in creating sustainable rural communities in The Highlands region.
There are many interesting and informative facts about The Highlands and its regional economy. For example, it’s the second top best-known Scottish brand in a global tourism marketplace and tourism business in the Highlands is worth £1.55bn annually.
The Highlands is also positioned together with Edinburgh and Glasgow as one of the top three regions in Scotland responsible for tourism recovery post-lockdown. The loss of tourism business to the region is forecast to be at around £350m per annum.
Yet we still have no real tourism strategy or recovery plan. And community leaders describe themselves as ‘voiceless’.
Our rich cultural heritage, outstanding natural environment and communities are at the heart of our tourism offer, which also benefits from passionate and innovative local leaders.
Our social enterprise, Highland Tourism CIC, has given us exactly the right vehicle to drive a new global vision and ambition for tourism in the Highlands and to develop the local tourist economy.
Through the business we have already attracted university students, school children, community leaders, entrepreneurs, politicians, and international best practice advisers as Ambassadors.
We aim to influence and change thinking through championing and nurturing innovation and by creating a vibrant, sustainable and resilient Highland community post Covid pandemic.
We have set an ambitious target for the region to become one of the world’s leading sustainable destinations, working collaboratively with the people and communities throughout the Highlands of Scotland.
Highland Tourism CIC is a fresh and necessary approach to tourism in the Highlands of Scotland for the benefit of all. Please find out more here and get in touch: www.highlandtourism.org
Cathleen Nicol, Highland Tourism CIC
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