Wilderness Scotland - Inspiring Adventures in the Wild Places of Scotland

Wilderness Scotland are Scotland’s leading ecotourism business, supporting a wide range of wilderness conservation initiatives. Scottish Tourism Business of the Year (2005), Highly Commended in World Responsible Tourism Awards – Best Tour Operator (2006), Highlands and Islands Tourism Awards – Best for Environment (Winner 2007).

Your idea

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Street Address

3a St Vincent Street

City

Edinburgh

State/Province

Scotland

Postal/Zip Code

EH3 6SW

Country

United Kingdom

Year innovation began

2000

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Geotourism Challenge Addressed by Entrant

Quality of tourist experience and benefit to tourists

Indicate sector in which you principally work

Tourism-related business

Plot your innovation within the Mosaic of Solutions

Main barrier addressed

Lack of quality assurance

Main insight addressed

Market authenticity

Geographic location

Coast, Mountain.

Name Your Project

Wilderness Scotland - Inspiring Adventures in the Wild Places of Scotland

Describe Your Idea

Wilderness Scotland are Scotland’s leading ecotourism business, supporting a wide range of wilderness conservation initiatives. Scottish Tourism Business of the Year (2005), Highly Commended in World Responsible Tourism Awards – Best Tour Operator (2006), Highlands and Islands Tourism Awards – Best for Environment (Winner 2007).

Innovation

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What is the goal of your innovation?

Our goal has been to develop Scotland’s leading ecotourism business and in doing so, to support wilderness conservation efforts in the Highlands and Islands of Scotland.

How does your approach support or embody geotourism?

We have introduced over 5000 people to the Highlands, journeying by sea kayak, on foot, under sail and by bike. We have raised over $40,000 for wilderness conservation.

Describe your approach in detail. How is it innovative?

We support the remotest and most fragile environments by designing low-impact journeys into Scotland’s most important wilderness areas. Our trips are specifically designed to combine a holiday with a subtle environmental educational experience. We deliberately support locally owned accommodations and make every effort to source fresh, local Highland produce. All experiences begin and end at train stations.

What types of partnerships or professional development would be most beneficial in spreading your innovation?

Media partnerships with eco-conscious publications and online resources.

Impact

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In one sentence describe what kind of impact, change, or reform your approach is intended to achieve.

We want to inspire people to visit, understand, appreciate and thereafter work to protect Scotland’s wilderness areas.

Describe the degree of success of your approach to date. Clearly define how you measure quantitative and qualitative impact in terms of how your approach contributes to the sustainability or enhancement of local culture, environment, heritage, or aesthetics? How does your approach minimize negative impacts? 200 words or less

We work with the finest wilderness guides in Scotland and all journeys are conducted according to international leave-no-trace ethics. Most of our journeys do not involve any form of vehicle or motorised transport, other than a short journey to the start point by vehicle from Inverness. Many are purely accessed by train.

How does your program promote traveler enthusiasm, satisfaction, and engagement with the locale?

Very strong emphasis on local accommodation and food at all levels of business.

Describe how your innovation helps travelers and local residents better understand the value of the area’s cultural and natural heritage, and educates them on local environmental issues. How do you motivate them to act responsibly in their future travel decisions?

We include detailed information on, and directly support many local and national wilderness conservation organisations.

In what ways are local residents actively involved in your innovation, including participation and community input? How has the community responded to or benefited from your approach?

Wilderness Scotland provides major economic input to a host of remote communities in the Highlands and have forged strong local guiding and supply partnerships.

This Entry is about (Issues)

Sustainability

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Is your initiative financially and organizationally sustainable? If not, what is required to make it so? What is the potential demand for your innovation?

Yes, we are the leading in-bound ecotourism business in the UK.

How is your initiative currently financed? If available, provide information on your finances and organization that could help others. Please list: Annual budget, annual revenue generated, size of part-time, full-time and volunteer staff.

7 full time staff, 18 part time, $1.5 million turnover.

What is your plan to expand your approach? Please indicate where/how you would like to grow or enhance your innovation, or have others do so.

Organic and sustained growth, deepening environmental values.

What are the main barriers you encounter in managing, implementing, or replicating your innovation? What barriers keep your program from having greater impact?

Good news in that many more companies are following our lead so we believe healthy “competition” will limit our growth but will be good for Scotland.

The Story

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Please provide a personal bio. Note this may be used in Changemakers' marketing material.

Former environmental lawyer, leading ecotourism business owner, wilderness conservation activist.

What is the origin of your innovation? Tell your story.

Previously an environmental lawyer who saw the value of tourism as a tool for wilderness conservation. Inspired by tourism models in Africa, set up Wilderness Scotland to inspire others to protect Scotland’s wilderness areas.

Please write an overview of your project. This text will appear when people scroll over the icon for your entry on the Google map located on the competition homepage.

Wilderness Scotland are Scotland’s leading ecotourism business, supporting a wide range of wilderness conservation initiatives. Scottish Tourism Business of the Year (2005), Highly Commended in World Responsible Tourism Awards – Best Tour Operator (2006), Highlands and Islands Tourism Awards – Best for Environment (Winner 2007).

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345 weeks ago Veikko Pakarinen said: Are there some vacant place on the stones? Or all are "chuck-full"? Amazing fun for me! about this Competition Entry. - read more >