VISITSCOTLAND will close all of its information centres across the country, it has been announced.

The public body which works as Scotland’s national tourism organisation said the closures would happen over two years as “part of a strategy designed to grow the visitor economy by influencing visitors in the planning stage of their trip, before they leave home”.

VisitScotland currently has centres all across Scotland, including in Inverness, Fort William, Oban, Brodick, Rothesay, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Perth, Stirling, Balloch, Jedburgh, and Pitlochry.

According to its website, there are 25 in total. You can see the full list here.

VisitScotland said all of its information centres – known as iCentres – will operate as usual until the end of September as part of phased two-year closure programme. 

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The body said it was engaging with local stakeholders to discuss “local arrangements”.

VisitScotland said it would be adopting a “digital-first strategy”, targeting channels such as “TikTok, YouTube, online travel websites and tools like AI”.

It said that 64% of international visitors come as part of a package holiday, meaning engaging with tour operators was also important. 

SNP MSP Evelyn Tweed said she had met with VisitScotland chief executive Malcolm Roughead and he had said there would be "no compulsory redundancies".

John Thurso, the hereditary peer serving as the chair of VisitScotland, said: “The tourism landscape has changed significantly in recent years.

“The demand for iCentres has reduced while the demand for online information and booking has continued to grow.

“In order to continue building demand and growing the value of tourism and events, it is vitally important that we target channels we know visitors use to influence them to visit Scotland.

“Our research shows that as an organisation, we have a greater and more impactful role to play in providing information before visitors travel. Prioritising a digital-first model of information provision allows us to reach potential visitors at those early planning stages when we can shape their future travel decisions.

“Together with businesses and our partners, we want to build on success and ensure that across all areas of our work – marketing, destination development, business advice, insights and events - we prioritise the activities that will deliver for our industry and for Scotland.

“By evolving our work in this way, we will be able to invest in the activities that will accelerate sustainable growth in the visitor economy, helping create jobs, sustain communities and attract investment for the future.”

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A Scottish Government spokesperson said:  “Decisions around how to best target resources and share information with visitors to Scotland are operational matters for VisitScotland. These proposals would bring VisitScotland into line with Visit England and Visit Wales, neither of which operate visitor centres.

"Importantly, VisitScotland will continue to engage with stakeholders and local businesses on this announcement.

“Tourism is an important sector of our economy. VisitScotland is key to promoting Scotland at home and abroad, supporting tourism businesses and maximising sustainable and responsible growth of the visitor economy.”