The First Minister Nicola Sturgeon revealed yesterday that she was not confident that tourism businesses would be open by Easter but committed to unveiling her proposed route out of lockdown next week with the publication of a revised strategic framework.
The revised framework will, she said, “aim to set out how we will use and balance all the tools at our disposal – restrictions and advice, vaccination, test and protect, and travel restrictions – to restore, on a phased basis, greater normality to our everyday lives.”
She went out to advise against booking Easter holidays either abroad or here. Saying, “it is highly unlikely that we will have been able to fully open hotels or self-catering accommodation by then.” She also urged caution when it came to booking summer holidays, suggesting overseas holidays would still “not be possible or advisable” adding, “staycations might be – but this will depend on the data nearer the time.”
Said STA chief Executive Marc Crothall, “The STA welcomes the First Minister’s announcement that the Scottish Government’s strategic framework is under review and that the updated route map will hopefully be published next week. It is absolutely critical that the tourism industry is given as clear an indication as possible around reopening, given the sheer reliance on the domestic market as a result of the Scottish Government’s extension of quarantine and the need for businesses to start trading again.
“Many businesses have already rolled over bookings from last year to this year and there can be no guarantee that those customers will maintain their commitment given this level of uncertainty
“The STA Board will meet with the First Minister in the coming weeks and take the opportunity to update Ms Sturgeon on the desperate state that the industry is in. I know of numerous businesses who are wholly reliant on being able to trade again at Easter in order to stay solvent; today’s indication that this is highly unlikely will I know serve as a crushing blow to many.”