Adventure Tourism and Social Enterprise

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Published: 03.08.18

Executive Summary

The importance of tourism to Scotland’s economy is without doubt, currently contributing around £6bn of GDP each year – around 5% of the total. It is also a sector which is experiencing significant growth, with an extra 20,000 jobs created since 2011 and now accounts for one in every 12 jobs in Scotland.

There is huge economic potential to be tapped into for communities across Scotland who can harness this boon, which is why in 2012 a national tourism strategy was launched with the aim of growing visitor spend from £4.5bn to £5.5bn by 2020.

Tourism Scotland 2020 (TS2020) identifies adventure tourism as a market which has a significant potential for growth, and there are a growing number of social enterprises across the country who are adapting to this growing sector by integrating outdoor activities with social impact strategies.

This paper aims to demonstrate that by collaborating with local businesses and the wider tourism sector, social enterprises are able to expand their range of activities and grow their tourism offer – and by doing so bring added economic benefits to their local community.


Click to read the briefing.


Case Studies

Badaguish Cairngorm Outdoor Centre promotes outdoor activity holidays in Speyside for people with a disability by providing accessible and affordable accommodation facilities and services. Visit their website.

Adventure Centre for Education/Adventure Carrich aims to provide adventure activities for all people in the south west of Scotland, no matter what their background or financial situation. Visit their website.