VisitScotland reacts to gay marriage law change

Scotland's first ever same-sex marriage ceremonies happened at the end of December.

VisitScotland is predicting that the law change permitting such weddings north of the border could boost Scotland's image for being an LGBTI-friendly place for tourists.

It may mean Scotland becomes a gay wedding 'destination of choice', helping the nation's tourism, it says.

"As well as its scenery, landmarks and events, Scotland is famous for its warm welcome," said equality and diversity manager for the tourism organisation, Chris McCoy.

"Whilst the perception of being made to feel welcome in Scotland is quite high among LGBTI Scottish visitors, there is still room for improvement, particularly among visitors outside of the country."

VisitScotland research involving LGBTI (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex) people, showed 84 per cent of people questioned said they'd consider visiting the country for their wedding.

Scotland was thought of as LGBTI-friendly by 77 per cent of the people questioned and it was discovered that 64 per cent of LGBTI visitors head to the country on an occasional or regular basis.

A lot of respondents thought giving more and improved information could mean Scotland was able to boost its welcome for LGBTI people visiting.

Since the survey, the tourist board has revamped its website with a new LGBTI-focussed section.

“Through communication channels and ongoing work with the industry, VisitScotland is developing and enhancing the information that is available to LGBTI visitors," said Mr McCoy.

This applies to the info visitors have access to before they come to the country and when they are there, he explained. The efforts are aimed at making sure the nation is seen as "a progressive, inclusive and safe" destination by such visitors.

He added that the new law change gives much opportunity for the country to promote itself to couples as a place to hold same sex marriage ceremonies.

Berkeley Scott is a specialist recruitment agency providing hospitality employment solutions.