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Scotland moves to consign its tourist boards to history

22 March 2006

Legislation to streamline Scotland's tourist industry was introduced to Parliament yesterday, as part of the country's ambitious ten year tourism plan.

The legislation will sweep away Scotland's tourist boards once and for all, transforming VisitScotland into a single legal entity with total control over the marketing and development of Scotland's tourist industry.

It is part of the Scottish Executive's plan to boost tourist numbers by 20% and tourism revenue by 50% to £7.5b over the next 10 years.

Executive tourism minister, Patricia Ferguson, said: "Scotland needs a tourism network that can deliver for the whole country, where the public and private sectors work together to support tourism as it develops into the future."

Essentially a tidying up exercise, the bill will wind up the two area tourist boards (ATBs) that sit under VisitScotland.

These ATBs were created in April 2005 when VisitScotland took over the marketing role of the country's 14 area tourist boards.

In legal terms it means VisitScotland is in fact three entities. The legislation will unify the various heads of the tourist beast, making day-today operation simpler.

Scottish Executive unveils 10-year tourism strategy >>

By Chris Druce

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