VisitScotland was initially established as the Scottish Tourist Board under the Development of Tourism Act 1969. The Tourist Boards (Scotland) Act 2006 formally changed the name of the Scottish Tourist Board to VisitScotland.
VisitScotland's main office is in Edinburgh, and there are also more than 100 VisitScotland Information Centres, Information Points in Partnership and local offices throughout the country.
The annual report and accounts show the net expenditure of the VisitScotland Group. The principal financial objective for VisitScotland is to ensure that the net financial cash outturn for the year is within the Resource Budget allocated by Scottish Ministers.
VisitScotland's accounts are audited by auditors appointed by the Auditor General for Scotland, in accordance with Section 6(4) of the Development of Tourism Act 1969. The term of appointment of KPMG LLP as auditors concluded last year, and henceforth Grant Thornton LLP have now been appointed.
Some financial highlights
VisitScotland was allocated a total of £44,160,000 core revenue grant in aid this year. This is a decrease of £1,245,000 compared to 2010-11. Included within the core revenue grant were specific project Grant-in-Aid funds (£6,005,000) with regard to the Disney-Pixar 'Brave' project, Ryder Cup, Homecoming Legacy, 'Surprise Yourself' campaign and Winter Festivals.
Group income for the year totalled £14,187,000, reflecting a decrease in commercial income of £1,308,000 and a decrease in other income of £1,883,000. Within this total, local authorities provided a contribution of £2,718,000 (£3,494,000), along with European Regional Development Fund income of £1,656,000 (£2,287,000), enterprise agency contributions of £128,000 (£357,000) and miscellaneous other income of £490,000.
Group expenditure for the year totalled £58,134,000 (2011: £62,317,000).
Savings have continued to be made in line with the Scottish Government's commitment to Efficient Government. During the year new savings have been made totalling £3,595,000. The cumulative savings to date under the efficiency programme now exceed £7,675,000, a sum total of £5,045,000 ahead of the original target.
The three main areas of efficiency savings this year were across procurement, asset management, organisational change and shared services.
A total of £1,125,000 has been spent on additions to fixed assets this year. The main additions have been on £843,000 on computer equipment upgrades and software development together with £282,000 on the ongoing refurbishment and improvements at a number of information centres and local offices.