Community Tourism: The Role of Social Enterprise

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Published: 09.03.18

Executive Summary

Community-led tourism initiatives have an important role to play in achieving this goal, as recognised by the Scottish Government in a strategic letter of guidance to Visit Scotland, encouraging it to “engage regularly with Scotland’s communities to help them make the most of their own local tourism resources”.

Tourism-focussed social enterprises can empower communities to grow their individual tourism markets by putting local people and community assets at the heart of a collaborative approach to growing visitor numbers. Forging a network of local initiatives will be key if Scotland is to achieve the stated aims of TS2020.

This briefing looks at the contribution social enterprise is making to community tourism initiatives in Scotland. It highlights the importance of accessible tourism, while also outlining how community tourism can bring about a number of benefits for the local economy, including increased employability opportunities, better asset management and a better retention of young people.


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Case Study

Dornoch CIC  is a voluntary organisation which aims to enhance the town centre of Dornoch, while preserving its historic and cultural heritage. Dornoch CIC is a business collective with over 80 members, who each pay into a turnover-based levy which funds its community tourism activities. Click here to view its website.