Community Tourism – June 2023

#belocal June Scotlandhour celebrates Community Tourism


Scotland Hour are delighted that this month we are celebrating and sharing about a sector that is vital to Scottish Tourism.  Community Tourism.  What is community tourism you ask?  It is where a community is providing visitor services and experiences and in their home collectively looking at how tourism is managed.


Scotland has some of the best examples of Community Tourism in the world.  These community enterprises are represented by SCOTO.  SCOTO emerged from the Highlands and Islands Enterprise funded Communities Leading in Tourism Programme 2019-2022 delivered by the Social Enterprise Academy.  SCOTO is a network of community tourism enterprises located throughout Scotland.


These examples include Loch Ness Hub which delivers visitor information, local crafts and baggage handling with all profits put back into the local community.  Callendar Youth Hostel and Pods which allow young people to start their career in hospitality.  The Wee Gallery in Angus which are community toilets with a difference as well as the toilets it is a community art gallery with local artists being displayed.  Moray Outdoor Walking Festival which has just had another successful event with its team of community volunteers.  Trimontium Museum Melrose telling the story of the Romans in Scotland with local artefacts from the Roman site nearby and volunteer guided walks to the actual site.  Community projects are not just confined to the mainland with some wonderful examples on the islands.  Like Bùth Bharraigh is a community retail and visitor hub in the heart of Castlebay, Isle of Barra. A social enterprise that helps the community flourish by providing a range of goods and services including visitor information and displaying local artist and selling local food providers.  Or finally Wild Skies Shetland Wild Skies Shetland is a social enterprise, a new Unst-based charity, which aims to showcase the ever-changing sky in all it’s glory, through all the seasons.


SCOTO has recently launched a visitor site which encourages visitors to enjoy being a temporary local when visiting.  Be inspired to embrace the local community spirit on your travels and to give something simple back that will make the community an even better place to live, work and visit.  At its heart that is what community tourism is.



9.00pm Q1 More communities are providing visitor services and experiences. Which community project would you like to give a shout to and why.  #belocal #scotlandhour

9.10pm Q2 Do you know that many of our public toilets are run by communities? Can you name a standout one for you and why? #belocal #scotlandhour

9.20pm Q3 Have you stayed at a community run, hostel, pod, campervan and or camp site or other type of accommodation run by a local community? What made it special?  #belocal #scotlandhour

9.30pm Q4 Did you know that many local events are run by communities and volunteers? What are your favourites?  #belocal #scotlandhour

9.40pm Q5 What does the word authentic mean to you? #belocal #scotlandhour

9.50pm Q6 Share photos and videos of community tourism experiences and your best times being #belocal #scotlandhour