On March 4, Scotland’s finalised tourism strategy and headline actions will be announced at the Scottish Tourism Alliance Signature Conference at Glasgow’s SEC and endorsed by the First Minister.

Unlike the current tourism strategy, TS2020, the co-ordination of the future strategy has been led by the Scottish Tourism Alliance (STA) and developed in equal partnership with the Scottish Government, its public agencies and industry over the past 18 months – over 2500 stakeholders have contributed to its development.

Its vision? Scotland – we will be the world leader in 21st century tourism.

The landscape of the global tourism industry has changed. The way people travel, visit, explore and experience destinations is entirely different to what it was when TS2020 was developed.

Today’s traveller visits, books and experiences Scotland in a different way to what they did in 2010. Our climate emergency has shifted the way we think about where we travel and stay, how we get there and the impact we have on our global environment and our destinations. Our domestic market has become ever more cautious in their decision making and their level of spend on tourism and hospitality experiences is at risk of further decline.

We have continued political and economic uncertainty, an even faster pace of technological change and a global growth in travellers. Scotland has for the first time in the last few years experienced what some refer to as ‘over-tourism’ in certain areas, creating pressure on infrastructure, with negative impacts on local communities and widespread reporting of that in the media.

It is now more important than ever that we create the very best memories for everyone who visits and experiences all that Scotland has to offer with no long-term damage to our environment, destinations or the people who live here.

Our mindset as a sector is now shifting from attracting volume to delivering greater economic and social benefits for our nation and for our local communities – the people who live and work in all of our villages, towns and cities. The people who work in your business.

The morning of March 4 will be the dawning of a new era not only for Scotland’s tourism industry, but for every person who lives in and visits Scotland. The time for our industry to change and adapt has arrived.

Tourism is acknowledged as having a hugely important role in delivering Scotland’s wider economic strategy and national performance framework – it cuts across every sector and touches every part of Scotland’s economy. We have always said that tourism is everyone’s business and our future strategy will look to enrich lives of those who live here, those who visit us and preserve our places with Scotland’s tourism industry acting as pioneers for delivering responsible tourism.

Our current and future challenges are well known to us, however we have many opportunities ahead and much to look forward to as an industry in delivering success, not only for Scotland’s tourism sector but for the wider economy, creating a better country to live and work in and for the world to visit.

We want every person living in Scotland to experience the benefits of tourism now and for many years to come.

By putting our communities, our people, our visitors, our businesses and our environment at the heart of everything we do, we can be the world leader in 21st century tourism.

Scotland - it is entirely within our reach to be the world leader in 21st century tourism.

Marc Crothall is chief executive of the Scottish Tourism Alliance and chairs Scotland’s Future Strategy Steering Group.