VIBES Award: Good Practice


  • First accredited Scottish tourist guides to obtain the Green Tourism Gold Award.
  • All operations are Zero Waste and Carbon Neutral.
  • Identifying and incorporating other responsible operators and service providers into tours.
  • Developing the concept of "responsible tourist”.
  • Supporting their local communities through beach cleans and work with elderly groups.
Download the winners' story

Select Scotland Tours are a team of professional tourist guides, accredited through the Scottish Tourist Guides Association, the World Federation of Tourist Guides, and the Federation of European Tourist Guides. They specialise in small group, bespoke tours for overseas, primarily North American, visitors.

Their guides are dispersed across Scotland providing a wealth of local knowledge, in addition to a range of individual specialisms, including geology, wildlife, fishing, history, horticulture, agriculture, music and art.

Select Scotland Tours are marketed through a network of Travel Agents and Destination Management Companies across the UK and Ireland.

In November 2020, Select Scotland Tours became the first group of accredited Scottish tourist guides to obtain the Green Tourism Gold Award. This was achieved through targeting measures at three levels, within the business:

  • making their operations Zero Waste and Carbon Neutral;
  • promoting their Green credentials and initiatives to Travel Agents and Destination Management Companies; and,
  • incorporating the message of “sensitive and responsible tourism” when guiding guests around Scotland.

Select Scotland Tours have taken a number of actions to reduce waste and carbon emissions from their operations. All driver guides undertake the government sponsored FuelGood driver training, which aims to improve driver efficiency. Vehicle carbon emissions are offset through tree planting in the Select Scotland Woodland, part of the Trees for Life Glen Affric regeneration reserve.

City Centre driving tours have been replaced with on-foot tours or tours by public transport. All Select Scotland Tours walking guides undertake Leave No Trace training, an Outdoor Ethics Education Programme designed to promote and inspire responsible outdoor recreation through education, research, and partnerships.

Further actions taken to reduce  Select Scotland Tours’ environmental impact include:

  • holding the weekly staff meetings virtually,
  • use of 100% renewable energy in all home offices,
  • where possible use ticketless and paperless itineraries, and
  • collecting any waste generated daily, for recycling.

Furthermore, the company identify and incorporate other responsible operators and service providers (hotels, restaurants and attractions) into final tour itineraries.

Select Scotland Tours are committed to develop the concept of the Responsible Tourist. Depending on the tour type and length, they take the opportunity to discuss topics which may influence where and how their guests will choose to travel in the future.

As a disperse group, located across Scotland, Select Scotland Tours’ staff members are ideally placed to participate in local initiatives. All guides are actively involved in various projects supporting their local community, from litter picks and beach cleans, to assisting and working with groups of elderly people.