New support fund for Scottish visitor attractions set to launch - Days Out Incentive Fund will subsidise 'up to 50% off' ticket price promotions

As we’ve previously highlighted to our attraction members, as part of the Scottish Government’s £25 million tourism recovery programme, VisitScotland has been working closely with ASVA on the development of a Scotland-wide Days Out Incentive Scheme. This is designed specifically to support our sector by encouraging visitation in the off-season.

We’re pleased to confirm that this £4 million initiative – which will enable visitor attractions, as well as outdoor, adventure and wildlife activities operators to apply for funding so they can offer reduced cost ticket promotions – will shortly go live.

Applications for the VisitScotland Days Out Incentive Fund will open at noon on 5 October and close at 5pm on 12 October.

Successful applicants to the Days Out Incentive Fund will be awarded financial support to subsidise the cost of tickets to their visitor attraction or activity. They must apply a promotions mechanic of up to 50% off the cost of a ticket, up to the maximum discount value of £20 per ticket booked.  Discounts can only be applied to bookings where the relevant visit or experience takes place within the promotional period of 4 November to 18 February.

Attractions and activities that are open for business between November and February must have a listing on and be signed up to the ‘We’re Good to Go’ COVID-19 industry standard to be eligible to apply to the Days Out Incentive Fund.  

VisitScotland will be launching a marketing campaign to promote the Days Out Scheme and inspire people to make the most of its ticket promotions to experience attractions around the country during the quieter winter months. We would strongly encourage all eligible ASVA attraction members to apply to the Incentive Fund so they can take advantage of the business-boosting potential that the Days Out Scheme offers.

Further information on the Days Out Incentive Fund can be found at this link and details on eligibility criteria and further guidance can be accessed here.

Gordon Morrison, ASVA CEO, said: “The pandemic has had a devastating impact on Scotland’s visitor attractions and the window of opportunity for their recovery has been extremely limited this year; the vast majority are still very much in survival mode. Our attractions are at the core of our country’s identity, culture and communities, and will play a pivotal role in the economic recovery of the £11bn tourism industry – so they desperately need additional, short-term support for what will be a very challenging winter period ahead. The launch of this tailored initiative for our sector is therefore very important and timely.

“With international tourists unlikely to return in significant numbers for some time yet, the patronage of people in Scotland is more important now than ever before. The VisitScotland Days Out Scheme will stimulate increased visitation and enable more attractions to extend their season, which in turn will boost footfall and spend in the wider economy.

“Visitors can expect to enjoy unique, memorable experiences and the warmest of welcomes, along with the highest standard of safety measures – which have been praised as exemplary by the Scottish Government. Moreover, with significantly fewer overseas visitors, those taking advantage of the Days Out scheme will have more opportunities to explore and experience our world-class attractions with far less of the hustle and bustle often associated with visiting popular sites.”

VisitScotland Director of Marketing Vicki Miller said: “The loss of international visitors over the past year has had a major impact on visitor attractions, tours and activity providers. The VisitScotland Days Out Voucher Fund will help generate income for this sector during the quieter winter months, as well as help rebuild consumer confidence in the face of COVID-19. “Tourism is a force for good – creating economic and social value in every corner of Scotland and enhancing the wellbeing of everyone who experiences it. Tourism makes Scotland richer, economically and socially, and without it, Scotland would be a much poorer place.”

Tourism Minister Ivan McKee said: “With the loss of many international tourists this year due to the pandemic, this £4 million fund will boost local visitor numbers and support the recovery of Scotland’s world-class tourism attractions. 

“Scotland’s tourism industry is a central plank of our economy and as we begin to carefully emerge and recover from the pandemic, we must work with the tourism industry to seize Scotland’s potential and build an economy for everyone by delivering greater, greener and fairer prosperity.”