Case Studies

Do you feel tourism just happens to your community?

Are you feeling overwhelmed by tourism?

Or maybe you're thinking tourism could help your community be a better place to live?


Why not take time to


Could tourism help your community become an even better place to live, work and visit? 

Find out more about our SCOTO Press Pause facilitated workshop and action plan initiative, which brings business and community interests together to consider what’s working, what’s not working and what could be done better/differently in your community.



The Press Pause approach was developed initially through a partnership with the North Highland Initiative in the summer of 2023.

Following successful pilots in Lochcarron and Thurso this summer, Press Pause projects are being launched in Brora and Plockton by North Highland Initiative (NHI) and SCOTO (Scottish Community Tourism Network). Read NHI's full press release here.

Each pilot received an 'easy to read' report which is developed from employing a mystery shopper approach to assess their appeal as  visitor desinations as well as an extensive face to face workshop for businesses and communities to further enhance understanding and collaboration.

Further Press Pause projects were developed with Social Enterprise Academy through their Imagining New Futures Together programme, funded by the National Lottery Communities Fund, with Glen Urquhart, Langholm, Colmonell, Girvan and Selkirk and the Valleys.

We are currently working with communities in Upper Nithsdale and Braemar and with ARIA (Ayrshire Rural and Islands Ambition) with three communities in North, South, and East Ayrshire in 2024.

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"Undertaking the Press Pause workshop was invaluable. Learnt so much, even about things you thought you knew about locally as different folk had a different perspective.

It also meant you could discuss ideas and thoughts in a ‘safe setting’ and see whether they were practical - and what you would need to do to make them become a reality.

Having an independent but knowledgeable coordinator was hugely helpful to question long held perceptions and pull in experience from elsewhere."

Angela Williams, Development Manager, Tarras Valley Nature Reserve, Langholm

What is Press Pause?

SCOTO has developed a Press Pause programme for geographic communities across Scotland to take time out to consider what is working, what is not working and what could be done better/differently in their communities.

The programme focuses on action and solutions, and seeks to help each and every community recalibrate how tourism is delivered and measured locally.


By taking time to ‘Press Pause’ a community can collectively review what is happening and look at realistic changes which bring the community’s interests and priority needs to the fore and support local business prosperity.


Press Pause revolves around a half day facilitated workshop in a local venue, engaging both business and community interests in collective discussions. It is not a public meeting.

Key outcomes will be a shared understanding of what is and isn’t working and what could be done differently or better to help make the community a better place to live, work and visit.  A destination competency appraisal will be produced and place branding will be considered in detail from a local perspective. SCOTO then do the heavy lifting and develop a number of recommendations which are refined into a prioritised activity plan – with early actions highlighted.  

The process is owned by the local community and led either by a community organisation (eg development trust, business association or community council) or a dedicated group with representatives from a number of local groups.


At its heart Press Pause is seeking to help communities recalibrate how tourism is delivered and measured locally to ensure there is a focus on positive impacts and wellbeing.

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What happens?

The Press Pause workshop and action plan will look at:

  • > Defining the destination from a local and visitor perspective
  • > The local visitor profile – past, present and future – what type of visitors would you like to see?
  • > Destination competence appraisal – collective consideration of 15 different criteria
  • > Place Branding – what distinguishes your community from others?
  • > Community led visitor propositions and product development
  • > Recalibrating how tourism is measured locally
  • > Next steps
What's the cost?

The cost for Press Pause is £3765 (plus expenses).*

This includes:

  • > Initial meeting to scope out delivery details
  • > Set up and facilitation of the in-person half day workshop
  • > Provision of an initial findings report for review
  • > Development of bespoke recommendations for your community including early actions and longer term initiatives
  • > A detailed, easy read Press Pause document with an agreed prioritised activity plan
  • > An engaging summary of the key recommendations for local and wider circulation. 

* Expenses cover venue hire and catering, plus travel and subsistence for the facilitator. SCOTO is not as yet VAT registered so no VAT is included. 

What's next?

Press Pause was initially developed in partnership with the North Highland Initiative and has been further piloted through the Social Enterprise Academy’s Lottery funded ‘Imagining New Futures Together’ Programme.  


Programme support for Press Pause is becoming available in some geographic areas and there are also local funds in most parts of Scotland which could support this type of initiative in your community. SCOTO can provide advice on securing funding.


What to know more about Press Pause and how it can help your community?  

Provide some details below and our Executive Director Carron will reach out to you to explore further.

I am interested in exploring Press Pause for my community

We will only use this if we need to contact you regarding this initiative.

What next?

Once we have received your form, Carron our Executive Director will be in touch.

Do you want to be a SCOTO Networker, Supporter or Enterprise?

Find out more about how you can join SCOTO

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