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Article published 19/11/2020

Monitoring the effects of COVID-19 on industry

The Scottish Tourism Emergency Response Group (STERG) is conducting research with tourism businesses to monitor the effects of COVID-19 on our industry via an online survey.

The aim of this research is to proactively track the ongoing impact of COVID-19 on the Scottish tourism industry and provide STERG with insightful information about your current and future support needs.


The survey is open to anyone that runs a tourism business i.e. those with paying customers, and those from wider tourism industry suppliers.

We’re aware there are a number of surveys being conducted at national, regional and local level as well as via sector groups and that you may have taken part in many of them.

The STERG would be incredibly grateful if you could complete this survey; the more businesses as possible that take part, the more useful the survey will be for the future of our industry.

It will allow us to see not only the overall impact on Scottish tourism, but also the impact it is having across different regions and business sectors, so that we can consider how best to support you going forward. Results will be made available on VisitScotland.org in December.

Recovery will require our collective efforts and we must act as one to ensure the best possible outcomes for the whole of the visitor economy.

The job of STERG is to identify the opportunities to help the industry bounce back as quickly as possible.

Survey aims

The survey allows us:

  • To see not only the overall impact on Scottish tourism, but also the impact it’s having across different regions and business sectors / suppliers, so that STERG can consider how best it might adapt activities.
  • The chance to take stock – look back and find out what has worked well, what could have been better, what are the current issues and what support is needed going forward.
  • The chance to get a more accurate picture on which sectors are doing better than others since reopening after lockdown, and which parts of the country have performed better than others.

Previous survey

The last time we did a survey was between 20 and 30 March during which time key announcements were made by the UK and Scottish Governments concerning social distancing measures and support packages for businesses.

The previous survey was dominated by smaller businesses, in particular, non-serviced accommodation providers in specific regions such as Highlands, Dumfries & Galloway, Stirlingshire and Eilean Siar.  Activity, attraction and tour operators in Edinburgh and Glasgow (plus national operators) also had a high level of response.

View the previous COVID-19 tourism industry survey results.

For the November / December survey we’d be keen to hear from more big hotels and serviced accommodation, as well as those that took part before, so that we can get a more rounded view.

The role of STERG

The Scottish Tourism Emergency Response Group (STERG) is a cross agency group, chaired by VisitScotland, created to respond to the COVID-19 crisis. STERG’s immediate priorities are to support tourism businesses to recover from this unprecedented situation.

It has been working on a single, joined-up, phased plan to not just combat the current challenges but also look at how the industry could effectively restart and recover as restrictions imposed to suppress the virus are eased.

Read more on STERG

If you have any queries, please get in touch.