Notes from the STA Council meeting with the Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and Tourism, 23rd June
- It was noted that the revenue loss across hospitality is monumental: The potential lost revenue opportunity in Scotland for the professional self-catering sector alone by opening on 15th July compared to 4th July is £20,155,422.
- My question to the Cabinet Secretary was: if people can visit their second homes from 29th June, why can’t people go and stay in self-contained self-catering properties, with robust cleaning protocols in place? The Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and Tourism has suggested that opening in advance e of the 15th is not “off the cards”. If it is possible to move more quickly, Fergus Ewing MSP would welcome it. This may be considered on the 2nd July.
- 2 households will be allowed to stay overnight in England from 4th July. The message must be consistent in Scotland, to be able to welcome pre-booked groups for more than one household.
- Allowing the self-catering sector to open earlier would impact positively on the attraction and activity sector. Attractions are relying on accommodation (self-catering in particular) opening before they can consider re-opening.
- There is growing vexation and frustration from the easing of lockdown in England, but not in Scotland.
- Messaging to communities is critical: The VS/VB “Good to Go” kitemark will be very useful in restoring confidence. Many communities, including SkyeConnect and Cairngorm Business Partnership are actively working to address messaging. Examples of DMOs doing a great job: https://www.visitscotland.org/supporting-your-business/advice/coronavirus-recovery/working-with-communities
- We may see some positive news in the near future, but there is nothing concrete yet. ASS