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Visit Scotland | Alba
Article published 22/02/2021

COVID-19 has had a devastating impact on Scottish tourism and with restrictions still in place, there is still uncertainty on what the coming season will look like. The vaccine roll-out continues at pace and must give us hope that a return to business is starting to be within reach.

We continue in our commitment to supporting businesses across the country as they prepare to welcome back visitors as soon as it is safe to do so. Right now, many of our staff are redeployed in working to deliver much-needed funding for the industry.

We recognise the impact COVID -19 restrictions have already had on businesses, as well as the challenges involved in preparing for restart and recovery. For the 2021 Quality Assurance (QA) Scheme year, we will therefore continue our support by waiving our QA fees for all Scheme members.

Following on from our waiving of fees in 2020, this marks a significant financial commitment for us, but we hope it is one that will be of some tangible help to our QA Scheme members. We’ll also continue to develop and deliver a range of support measures for them over the coming months.

Increasingly important to potential visitors and guests at this time is the need to feel secure in their choice of accommodation and tourism experience, and we are confident that QA Scheme membership will be of greater importance than ever in providing visitors with that reassurance.

Having the QA logo will signal to visitors that a business is committed to delivering a quality experience and a safe, clean and welcoming environment.

In this moment for change we are working hard on further developing our QA Scheme to ensure that it continues to adapt and evolve to deliver the very best experience for businesses who are part of it, and for our visitors.

This is a challenging period for the industry but together we can work to rebuild a thriving and robust industry.

QA Scheme year and QA awards

In waiving our QA fees for a second year we have decided to amend and extend the period to which these relate. Our QA Scheme year will now align with the financial year, running from April 2021 – March 2022.

We are confident that by being part of QA, a business continues to reassure visitors that they are committed to and invested in offering a safe, high quality visitor experience – so important at a time where visitors begin again to make travel plans for this year and beyond.

For continuity those within QA will see their star award remain unchanged for the time being, until we can reconfirm it in person when we next do a QA visit to the business.

We have a list of QA members who are currently marketing as 'Awaiting Grading' and we’ll prioritise a live visit to these businesses once we’re able to get back on the road.

While our regular live visit programme will not proceed this year, our QA team will continue to provide advice and guidance to businesses online and over the phone during this time.

Whether an existing member or a business keen to join and make use of our support programme, we’ll be available to advise on how to prepare and how to deliver the desired quality of experience for your target visitor.

Further information

If you would like to speak to someone about your QA award, joining as a new member, or regarding the QA grading scheme in general; please do get in touch by emailing and we will do our best to contact you directly with more information.