Adventure Tourism and Social Enterprise

This paper is part of a series of Senscot Briefings which aim to showcase the approach that social enterprise is taking to address a range of complex social issues across Scotland. An important aspect of this Briefing is to help understand the size and scale of adventure tourism in Scotland, to promote opportunities for social enterprises and help them to capitalise on the routes to growth.

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.

Read the full paper here.