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Careers About
Services Projects 29 Insights 46 Podcasts 17 Careers About
North East Adventure Tourism Climate Action Plan – Helping the Sector to Respond to the Climate Emergency
Opportunity North East (ONE)
min read
Apr 24 ― 2023
Marta Mills
Senior Project Manager | Sustainable Tourism
How should the adventure tourism sector respond to the climate emergency? Where should the efforts go, what actions should be prioritised, and why? And how can the sector — with a majority of very small businesses with limited time and resources — be encouraged and supported?
Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire — potential for a world class low-carbon adventure tourism destination

We are working with the adventure tourism sector in the North East of Scotland to answer these questions by developing a Climate Action Plan for the adventure tourism sector in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire. We are building on the ground-breaking work we did last year on the Destination Net Zero Action Plan in Scotland that gave us a good understanding of the challenges the tourism businesses face on their journey to net zero, and on the most realistic, applicable solutions. 

With fantastic walking and climbing, mountain biking and cycling, marine and river activities,  and snow sports, the region can benefit from a growing demand for adventure tourism experiences and grow its adventure tourism offer in a low carbon, environmentally and socially responsible way. 

A lot is happening in this space and at the same time there is so much more that needs to be done, pretty urgently. There is a lot of enthusiasm but also a lot of uncertainty about what and how to measure, what to prioritize, who to turn for advice, how to fund this work. The new climate action plan will provide guidance for the partners to support the business on their climate journey, it will also help the businesses start and progress.

What are we doing

We are researching benchmarks and global best practice in climate action in adventure tourism, analysing sustainability trends and companies’ sustainability policies and climate commitments. We are talking to the adventure tourism companies who are leading the way in climate action to draw inspiration for our actions and to validate them. We have run surveys and workshops with the local businesses to find out what their climate goals are, and to come up with locally- applicable solutions. 

This work is part of the NEAT (North East Adventure Tourism) project led by Opportunity North East (ONE) in partnership with Scottish Enterprise, Developing Mountain Biking in Scotland, VisitAberdeenshire, and Aberdeenshire Council. We are thrilled to contribute to the joint efforts that will lead the transformation of the region’s growing adventure tourism sector to a world class, low carbon destination for adventure activities and sports by 2030. 

This is not the first time we have worked in the north east of Scotland - we created the Destination Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire tourism strategy in 2018. We are proud to continue to work in Scotland, having delivered a number of strong projects and plans including the Scotland Outlook 2030 Action Plan, National Tourism Recovery Recommendations, Destination Net Zero Action Plan, Edinburgh 2030 Tourism Strategy and several others. Read more about our work in Scotland here. 

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