“The Scottish Tourism Alliance has been actively seeking feedback from our members on the impact of Coronavirus on their business over the last few days and has been monitoring the more widespread effects on Scotland’s tourism industry. Forward bookings are down, some by up to 50%, conferences are being cancelled which impacts the local tourism economy, a significant amount of business and consumer travel is on hold, all of which represents a critical threat to Scotland’s tourism industry. Our airports are also reporting a huge drop in passenger numbers; our entire tourism sector is moving into an extraordinarily precarious position.
The time for government intervention by way of emergency support is now.
The downturn has started and there must be commitments to this in this week’s Westminster budget to keep our industry afloat in these challenging weeks. As we start moving towards what should be the busiest season for our industry, we need to remove as many cost barriers for travelers and we would therefore look for a cut in VAT and the removal of any notion of the introduction of a tourist tax across all of Scotland’s local authorities.
Businesses will struggle within the coming days and weeks, even the successful ones, with cashflow as a result of increased sick pay, business rates pressures, utilities and the day to day management of what is an ever-changing situation as a result of Coronavirus. We would also press for a three to six month business rate holiday to give businesses some breathing space and ask that governments work closely with us and VisitScotland to gather accurate data and forecasting for Scotland’s tourism industry to allow the right decisions to be made at this critical time for our industry and Scotland’s economy.”
Marc Crothall, CEO Scottish Tourism Alliance
Please take a minute to complete the VisitScotland questionnaire on how Coronavirus is impacting on your business. This is a very short survey and is used to feed back to government.