Holiday vouchers, discounts for days out and a marketing fund are included in a new £25 million tourism recovery programme revealed by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon speaking at the Scottish Tourism Alliance conference.
The programme, which has been developed by the Scottish Tourism Emergency Response Group (STERG) in partnership with businesses, will support the Scottish Tourism Recovery Taskforce objectives.
The recovery programme includes:
- a holiday voucher scheme to create a more socially sustainable and inclusive tourism industry
- a days out incentive scheme to support areas such as attractions, tours, activities and experiences
- a talent development and leadership programme for tourism and hospitality staff
- a Net Zero Pathway to make Scotland’s tourism industry more green and sustainable
- a marketing fund to support organisations to promote their destination or sector when domestic travel is able to resume
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said, “It’s been an incredibly difficult year for all businesses but I don’t underestimate the acute challenges our tourism and hospitality sectors have faced.
“We’ve provided an unprecedented amount of funding for the sector, including over £129 million in business support and an extension of rates relief for 2021/22. But as the vaccine roll-out continues, and the lockdown restrictions begin to ease, we know more is needed to help tourism and hospitality businesses get firmly back on their feet.
“This is short term recovery funding to support the industry for the next 6 months to two years as we move back towards some form of normality, and it ensures we can achieve the objectives of the taskforce.
“I set out a vision for Scotland to be a leader in 21st century tourism when I announced Scotland Outlook 2030 at this very conference last year. I am confident, that by working in partnership, we can still achieve this vision.”
Marc Crothall, Chief Executive of the STA said, “The £25 million support for Scotland’s tourism industry which was announced by the First Minister at the STA Conference is a welcome boost for businesses as we move closer to what we hope will be a reopen date at the end of April.
“The funding projects are directly aligned to the Tourism Task Force recommendations which were published late last year and shows a firm commitment from the Scottish Government to working with the sector and the STA to rebuild our tourism industry through the delivery of key projects and initiatives. A very welcome announcement, particularly on a day which has felt so positive with over 2000 people tuning in to view the conference.”
UKHospitality Scotland Executive Director Willie Macleod said, “This good news for the tourism and hospitality sectors and represents a welcome step on the pathway to recovery.
“Consumer confidence is going to be key to the recovery of the hospitality and tourism sectors. After such a long time in hibernation and in the wake of such a catastrophe, customers might, understandably, be hesitant to get back out to venues and book holidays.
“As hospitality venues begin to reopen and as the tourism sector begins to reawaken, we need to be sending the message that we are open for businesses. The Scottish Government’s incentive scheme could play a significant role in tempting our customers back into our businesses. Letting customers know we are open, safe and ready to welcome them back again will be key to a quick start.”
Further details on the allocation of funds will be set out in due course.