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Scottish Tourism Alliance response to First Minister's statement

Marc Crothall, Chief Executive for the Scottish Tourism Alliance, the representative body for Scotland’s tourism industry said:

“We acknowledge that many restaurants, hotels, pubs and golf clubs with an outdoor area which they had planned to open over the coming days will be bitterly disappointed that this will not be  possible until the 2nd July at the earliest. Having a chance to get some revenue coming in to offset the huge burden of costs that have had to be borne over the past 12 weeks would have provided some welcome relief for many.  The 2nd July date however will allow time for operators to become 100% familiar with the sector guidance and protocols for reopening which will be published later today and to plan and prepare for opening outside areas safely and for those that can be ready for full opening we hope on the 15th July.

The STA is conducting research into the impact of the current 2 metre social distancing rule on business viability and employment specifically within the accommodation provider and restaurant sectors and the results so far indicate that unless there is significant easing of the 2 metre rule, the majority of businesses within those sectors will lose between 50-70% of their business; indeed a worrying proportion have said that they would not open at all.

We must however take positives from today’s announcement.  We have are moving into Phase 2 and hopefully all being well, still on track for sector reopening on 15th July.  We also have a commitment from the First Minister that there will be a review of the 2 metre rule, something which we didn’t have until now.

There is a balance between the health crisis and the economic crisis and we must not underestimate how important it will be for businesses to be able to open up in an economically viable way whilst at the same time importantly providing the necessary reassurance around safety to their employees, customers and our communities.”

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