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Visit Scotland | Alba

ScotSpirit Holiday Voucher Scheme for unpaid carers and low income families

With over 1.1 million identified unpaid carers in Scotland and one in four children in Scotland living in poverty, many are unable to afford to visit a local attraction or take an overnight break away from home.

VisitScotland is encouraging bed and breakfast, guest house, camping park, hotel, hostel and attraction venues to participate in a new Holiday Voucher Scheme, supporting some of the most vulnerable within our communities who have also been adversely affect by the pandemic.

The scheme supports relevant businesses to engage with us and our charity partners, directly injecting £1.4 million into tourism businesses as part of the Tourism Recovery Programme. The scheme is funded by the Scottish Government, and participating businesses will be reimbursed for an overnight stay or a day visit as follows:

  • Funding for overnight breaks is capped at £400 for a two or three night stay, but a higher capped amount of £500 is available to eligible families or carers who have children of school age who plan to take a two or three night stay during school holiday periods (i.e. Easter, summer from June to August, October and Christmas and New Year).
  • Funding for day visits is capped at £200 for day tickets or passes both during the peak and off-peak season.

As a scheme participant you will not only benefit through financial reimbursement, your participation and contribution to the scheme helps to create a more inclusive and responsible tourism industry. The scheme is open to bed and breakfasts, guest houses, hotels, hostels, camping parks and visitor attractions across Scotland.

What are the benefits of the scheme to businesses?

Benefits to businesses include:

  • Stimulating off-season domestic breaks and day visits in Scotland
  • Supporting beneficiaries and communities with subsidised breaks
  • Business reimbursement for day trips and overnight stays  for full details of reimbursement, please view our guidance document
  • Attracting a new target market and increasing revenue potential through additional spend
  • Engaging staff and collaborating with charity partners to meet corporate community goals
  • Creating a more responsible tourism industry which is socially sustainable and inclusive
  • Marketing and PR opportunities

You can play a huge part in improving health and wellbeing outcomes for unpaid carers, disadvantaged young people and low-income families within our communities.

The relevant accommodation businesses are asked to offer their most competitive rate at the time of booking. Visitor attractions can engage with the scheme through the provision of day tickets and passes throughout the year.

Our charity partners may also utilise other funding streams and income sources to contribute to the additional cost of taking these breaks, such as activities, incidentals, upgrades, meals and travel costs.

The scheme supports industry collaboration with the voluntary sector through two charity partners – the Family Holiday Association and Shared Care Scotland, working with local carer centres throughout Scotland.

Key statistics

392,000 people

The estimated number of people in Scotland who became unpaid carers a result of COVID-19 pandemic

65% of unpaid carers

Have not been able to take any breaks from caring during the pandemic

1 in 4 children

in Scotland are living in poverty

60,000 households

in Scotland are in the top 5% of areas for child poverty

How can you get involved?

Bed and breakfasts, guest houses, hotels, hostels, camping parks and visitor attractions in Scotland are encouraged to get involved in the scheme by signing up to participate and showing support for unpaid carers, low-income families and disadvantaged young people to take a fully funded day trip or overnight stay, from August 2021 to December 2022.

Businesses are asked to:

  1. 1

    Add your business details to our directory

    Add your business details to our ScotSpirit Holiday Voucher Scheme directory that will be shared with our charity partners – Family Holiday Association and Shared Care Scotland, working with local carer centres.

  2. 2

    Be bookable

    Accept online bookings, or advise of an alternative booking contact and process. 

    Accommodation businesses are asked to offer their most competitive rate at the time of booking. You must also agree to a 24 hour cancellation period. 

  3. 3

    Accept different payment methods

    Accept a minimum of two payment methods (options to choose from are credit card, bank transfer and invoice).

  4. 4

    Agree to our terms and conditions

    Accept the scheme business terms and conditions.