VISITSCOTLAND has announced plans to close every one of its information centres across the country.

The “iCentres,” which are found across the length and breadth of Scotland, will all be shut down over the next two years.

VisitScotland said the closures were part of a move to a “digital-first strategy” that would aim to give tourists coming to Scotland information before they arrive.

How many visitor information iCentres does VisitScotland have?

According to the tourism body’s website, there are 25 iCentres across Scotland, from the Borders to Shetland.

Where are the VisitScotland information centres that will be closing?

The 25 visitor information centres that will be closing down are, from the most northerly down: 

  • Lerwick, Shetland
  • Kirkwall, Orkney
  • Stornoway, Western Isles
  • Ullapool, Highlands
  • Portree, Skye
  • Inverness, Highlands
  • Aviemore, Highlands
  • Aberdeen, Aberdeen City
  • Ballater, Aberdeenshire
  • Fort William, Highlands
  • Pitlochry, Perthshire
  • Craignure, Mull
  • Oban, Argyll
  • Perth, Perth City
  • St Andrews, Fife
  • Aberfoyle, Loch Lomond and the Trossachs
  • Stirling, Stirling City
  • Balloch, Loch Lomond and the Trossachs
  • Edinburgh, Edinburgh City
  • Glasgow, Glasgow City
  • Rothesay, Bute
  • Bowmore, Islay
  • Brodick, Arran
  • Jedburgh, Borders
  • Dumfries, Dumfries and Galloway

When will the VisitScotland centres be closing?

VisitScotland has said that all of the centres will be running normally until September.

After that, they will begin a phased programme of closures over 18 months.

Arrangements will be made locally for each closure.

SNP MSP Evelyn Tweed said she had been told by VisitScotland officials that the closures would not see any compulsory redundancies.

What is the Scottish Government saying?

The Scottish Government has backed the move from VisitScotland, noting that the body's equivalents in England and Wales do not run information centres.

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.”