The Crofting Commission regulates
and promotes the interests of crofting in Scotland
to secure the future of crofting.


Croft tourism is one of the more popular forms of croft diversification. Tourism is generally an acceptable diversification of crofting.

Crofts and their use are regulated by the Crofting Commission and there are certain duties which must be undertaken.

Crofter’s Duties:

  • Ordinarily resident on, or within 32 kilometres of, the croft
  • you must not misuse or neglect the croft
  • you must cultivate the croft or put it to another purposeful use

Definition of Purposeful Use:

‘Purposeful use’ as mentioned above, is ‘any planned or managed use of croft land, which does not adversely affect the croft, the public interest, the interests of the landlord or owner, or the use of adjacent land’.   Tourism would generally fall within this definition.

Purposeful Use requires the written permission of your Landlord. If the Landlord refuses permission, then a regulatory application for ‘Another Purposeful Use’ can be submitted to the Commission - Find an application form | Crofting Commission (

Please also see Schedule 2 requirements on the Planning Considerations webpage

Planning Permission:

The number of units, the type of units, and the ‘length of season’ are all the remit of the Local Authority. The definition of a 'unit' may vary between Local Authorities, so it's best to check eg caravan, campervan, tent, pod, shepherd's hut or glamping tent. The difference between temporary and permanent accommodation should also be considered eg self-catering property or bothy. 

Each Local Authority has rules for tourism development, so it's advisable to check if planning permission is needed or before beginning a project.

Local Authorities in the Crofting Counties areas - click on hyperlinks below;

Argyll & Bute Council

Comhairle nan Eilean Siar

Cairngorms National Park Authority

The Highland Council

Moray Council

North Ayrshire Council

Orkney Islands Council

Shetland Islands Council

Organisations which support tourism & agritourism:

Scottish AgritourismThe official organisation for the agritourism sector in Scotland. 'Agritourism' is defined as 'tourism or leisure on a working farm, croft or estate which produces food' 

Visit Scotland: Scotland's National Tourism Organisation

Business Gateway: Access to free business support across Scotland

If you have further queries, or would like more information, please get in touch -Email:

The Crofting Commission recommends that legal advice should be sought before commencing a project.

© Crofting Commission 2023Site MapSite by Plexus.