A new Scottish Recovery Tourism Taskforce will assist with the ongoing reset of the sector – and a provisional date of 15 July has been set for when tourism businesses may be able to resume operations, dependent on public health advice and progression to Phase 3 of the Scottish Government lockdown route-map.
The taskforce will look at the sector’s recovery needs as well as actions being taken by the UK Government and the development of a new domestic visitor marketing campaign.
The taskforce is in addition to the £2.3 billion package of support for businesses across Scotland which includes measures specific to the tourism and hospitality industry such as a full year’s non-domestic rates relief and specific grant schemes which are not available elsewhere in the UK.
Mr Ewing made the announcements during a statement to Parliament. He said:
“The coronavirus pandemic has presented challenges across the entirety of the Scottish economy, but it is very clear there are exceptional circumstances facing this sector that must be recognised.
“We have acted as quickly as we can to address the significant financial challenges faced by businesses and provide a comprehensive package of support. We are also pushing the UK Government to do more, including a review of VAT rates and to consider extensions to schemes such as the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.
“I’ve been engaging with businesses since the beginning of the outbreak and I have heard their calls for more clarity which today I can provide. Businesses should start to prepare for a provisional return to trading – with appropriate safety guidelines – on the 15th July 2020.
“This date cannot be definitive and is conditional on public health advice and progression to Phase 3 of the route map. Businesses must now use this time to satisfy the necessary regulations and adapt to the new way of living.”
Association of Scotland’s Self-Caterers Chief Executive, Fiona Campbell, said:
“As representatives of Scotland’s £723million self-catering sector, the ASSC welcomes the Scottish Government’s indicative reopening date of July 15 for tourism businesses, after what has been a highly challenging time for all those involved in the industry.
“However, we also believe that owing to the nature of self-catering that allows for easier social distancing compared to other accommodation, we are able to return to operating sooner than planned, with robust cleaning protocols in place.
“Scotland’s self-caterers have grasped the task of preparing to open again and in doing so have created our own stringent and thorough protocols for cleaning our properties which we have shared this with industry stakeholders and the Scottish Government.
“We are ready and able to get Scottish tourism moving again.”
This guidance has been developed in partnership by the Association of Scotland’s Self-Caterers, the Professional Association of Self-Caterers, and the Wales Tourism Alliance. It is supported by the Tourism Alliance, the Scottish Tourism Alliance and the Wales Association of Self-Catering Operators.
With huge thanks to Quality in Tourism and Landlord’s Little Helper for their valuable contributions.
Disclaimer: This content is based on guidance from the HSE (Health and Safety Executive), WHO (World Health Organisation), European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), Global Biorisk Advisory Council (GBAC), and Centres for Disease Control (CDC), NIH (National Institutes of Health), NHS (National Health Service). These agencies do not endorse this content. This is guidance only, and we make no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, about the completeness, accuracy, reliability, suitability, or availability with respect to this content provided for any purpose. Any reliance you place on such information is therefore strictly at your own risk.
The guidelines are designed to augment the hospitality guidance being developed by UK Hospitality at a national level.
These guidelines are for reference only and subject to change. Official guidance will be published in full once endorsement has been received from UK and Scottish Governments in the next short time.