Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner. Facebook Messenger An icon of the facebook messenger app logo. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Facebook Messenger An icon of the Twitter app logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. WhatsApp Messenger An icon of the Whatsapp messenger app logo. Email An icon of an mail envelope. Copy link A decentered black square over a white square.

OPINION: COP26 – These Tayside and Fife tourism stars are already a force for good on climate change

The new Dundee Cycle Hub is just one example of sustainable tourism in action.
The new Dundee Cycle Hub is just one example of sustainable tourism in action.

As the UK hosts the COP26 summit, the role of Tay Country tourism in tackling climate change is very much in focus.

It may seem strange for an organisation committed to supporting local tourism to be so invested in the outcome of a global gathering in Glasgow

But at VisitScotland, we know environmental change is one of the biggest challenges facing our tourism and events sector – and we all have a part to play.

Scotland’s breath-taking scenery is the number one reason why people come here.

Visitors from every corner of the world have fallen in love with our famous views and natural assets.

They are part of what makes Scotland so special.

We need to take action against climate change today to protect these assets for the visitors of tomorrow.

The outcome of these talks will impact every one of us and will shape how we rebuild tourism sustainably following the Covid-19 pandemic.

COP26 action is already under way

Covid has already made people pause and think about the environment, and their impact on it.

For VisitScotland and the wider tourism industry, it was a chance to reset and consider how we can build back responsibly, sustainably and safely.

COP26 presents a unique opportunity to demonstrate the decisive action that Scotland’s tourism industry is taking to secure its future  in the face of a growing climate change crisis.

Along with the United Nations World Tourism Organisation and other industry leaders, we have helped to draft the Glasgow Declaration on Climate Action in Tourism.

This includes a promise to cut emissions and reach net zero as soon as possible.

We are already working towards meeting the Scottish Government’s target of reducing emissions by 75% by 2030 and reaching net zero by 2045.

And across Tay Country, more and more businesses are looking at what they can do to embrace responsible and sustainable tourism.

Angus and Dundee schemes making a difference

Arbikie Distillery near Arbroath has a mission to become the global leader in a new category of single-estate, sustainable spirits.

Not satisfied with carbon-neutral, they focused on distilling the world’s first climate-positive spirits.

This has meant going beyond achieving net zero carbon emissions to create an environmental benefit by removing additional carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

They achieved that goal with the launch of their climate positive, Nàdar Gin in early 2020.

A new Distillery Experience is set to open in April 2022, allowing visitors to come and experience what they do first-hand.

A new cycle hub was recently launched in Dundee next to the world-famous V&A Dundee.

It is ideally located to help visitors and locals choose cycling as their mode of transport around the city.

It also offers a shopping and eating experience, tours, bike maintenance classes, and community engagement activities on a city-wide basis.

Perthshire and Fife farms making the change

In Perthshire, accommodation provider Blairmore Farm is committed to ensuring that the built, farmed and natural environment are all protected in balance with each other.

Renewable energy-generated onsite is used for heating and hot water. The aim is to produce energy via solar and wind in the future.

They also try to boost their land’s biodiversity by leaving woodland alone to support red squirrel and buzzard populations.

Blairmore owners James Clark and Ailsa Clark. Photo: Steve MacDougall / DCT Media

And Ardross Farm Shop in Elie, Fife is a great draw for environment-conscious foodies.

Food miles here can amount to just a few metres for some products as they strive for sustainability throughout the farm and retail business.

Seasonal vegetables sold in the shop come from the field next door and beef is reared and butchered locally.

Scottish tourism adapting to climate change beyond COP26

Sustainability isn’t a niche trend.

In Scotland, around three quarter of residents agree climate change is an immediate and urgent problem so there is a real opportunity for businesses to highlight how they are playing their part.

That’s where VisitScotland can help.

As well as working with businesses, we are making it easier for visitors to tread lightly when visiting Scotland by highlighting the best green tourism experiences on our website, via social media and through our marketing.

Claire Pollok in the Ardross Farm shop.

By making sustainable travel choices we can all help protect our landscapes while at the same time boosting the local economy, culture and diversity of the areas we visit.

We face many challenges with the climate emergency and VisitScotland is part of the solution.

We are committed to working with tourism and events businesses and communities to ensure sustainability is at the heart of what they do.

As we market our country to visitors, we will make sure we inspire them to enjoy our country in a way that preserves and protects all the things that make Scotland so special.

This is tourism as a force for good, creating economic and social value in every corner of Scotland and enhancing the wellbeing of everyone who experiences it.


Caroline Warburton is Regional Leadership Director for VisitScotland.


OPINION: Eden Project Dundee is the tourism boost the country needs right now