VisitScotland.com is the official website of VisitScotland, Scotland's national tourist board. The website operates a bookings and information service for visitors to Scotland. Accommodation availability information, as well as more general information about Scotland, is provided over the World Wide Web via the www.visitscotland.com domain and by telephone via the National Booking and Information Centre. Information is also made available to 120 Tourist Information Centres networked across the country.
VisitScotland.com claims that its web site receives 5 million unique users each year, making it the country's most comprehensive source of bookings and information on Scotland.
VisitScotland.com was initially the trading name of eTourism Ltd, a private limited company set up in Livingston 2003 by a public-private partnership. In 2003 the IT services group SchlumbergerSema was taken over by Atos. There was a major restructuring in July 2006 that saw VisitScotland increase its stake from 25% to 36%, Austrian booking specialist Tiscover took a 35% share and ATOS reduced its stake from 60% to 7%. Partnerships UK Ltd had also been shareholders.
The ownership of VisitScotland.com became a divisive issue with many in the Scottish tourism industry. A number of accommodation providers, particularly those outwith the main cities, lodged a petition with the Scottish Parliament to return the group to public ownership, arguing that the use of public money to fund the parent company eTourism Ltd was disrupting competition, an assertion which eTourism unconditionally rejected.
In 2008, a Scottish Parliament inquiry led by Tavish Scott considered some of the problems associated with the website and made the recommendation that Scottish Government find additional resource to put towards solving these. On 7 November 2008, it was announced that ownership of VisitScotland.com was to be transferred solely to VisitScotland, with £1.2 million of funds being used to purchase shares from all other shareholders.
- Donald, Colin (31 August 2005). "Anger at VisitScotland's 'hijack' system". The Scotsman. Retrieved 16 July 2016.
- Friedli, Douglas (23 July 2006). "VisitScotland.com books Austrian specialist". Scotland on Sunday. Retrieved 16 July 2016.
- Donald, Colin (12 July 2008). "Inquiry calls for overhaul of VisitScotland's 'obsolete' website". The Sunday Herald. Retrieved 16 July 2016.
- Ferguson, Brian (7 November 2008). "National tourism website is handed £1.2m bail-out". The Scotsman. Retrieved 15 July 2016.