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25/05/2020

Response to STA letter to First Minister requesting urgent support for tourism industry

“I am committed to listening to business concerns as we explore how best to continue to provide support during this crisis. As you know the Scottish Government has provided an unprecedented level of support, however I am aware that gaps still exist. I am continuing to work with colleagues to look at further options, and to lobby the UK Government on the range of issues you outline, and to seek further support.”

Fergus Ewing MSP – Cabinet Secretary for Rural Economy and Tourism

The STA wrote to the First Minister of Scotland last Thursday following the announcement of the Scottish Government route map to ease restrictions on lockdown.

A summary of our immediate asks of the Scottish Government is below:

1.  Enabling certain parts of the tourism economy to open sooner than has been set out in today’s route map for example, self-catering, sailing, caravan parks and hotels providing they are able to demonstrate that they can conform to the agreed standards and protocols in a way that protects both their employees and customers, as has been the case with other UK devolved nations.  Agreement of the protocol/minimum standards as a priority to allow tourism businesses to re-open.

2.  Provision of an urgent support package in the short term to stop more businesses from closing and making employees redundant.  We recognise that there has been a significant level of support from Scottish and UK governments and that future funding will need to come from the UK Treasury.  We would therefore expect the Scottish Government to be pushing hard for these monies to be made available.

3.  A long-term package of specific support for the tourism sector due to loss of revenue from remaining closed during the high season as detailed in today’s route map.

4.The establishment of an overarching ministerial chaired industry task force as soon as possible, given the severity of the impact on the industry to which the recommendations of the Scottish Tourism Emergency Response Group (STERG) can be fed into to allow a robust recovery action plan to be developed.

We received a response early on Friday morning from Fergus Ewing MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Rural Economy and Tourism.

You can view the letter here.

The STA’s letter to the First Minister is here.

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