- Coronavirus (COVID-19) arrived in Scotland in 2020. The World Health Organisation (WHO) declared the virus a global pandemic in March 2020.
- Working alongside partners, we monitored the impact of the pandemic on our tourism and events industry. We supported the industry in their recovery from the pandemic. And we created the Scottish Tourism Emergency Response Group (STERG) to respond to the crisis.
- In October 2020, STERG requested that a full industry survey be undertaken to help determine the scale and impact of the first stages of the pandemic (March to October 2020) on the Scottish tourism industry.
We appointed Progressive Partnership, an independent research agency, to undertake the survey on behalf of STERG. There were 2,974 responses to the online survey, which ran from 19 November to 6 December 2020.
The sample includes a majority of accommodation providers, particularly self-catering. This is important to bear in mind when looking at total sample findings. A detailed break down of the sample by the main business activity is available in the full report to download.
Download the full report or read the executive summary below.
Coronavirus (COVID-19) Industry Survey 2020
Published January 2021
1.1 The impact of tourism sector re-opening
For some the summer and autumn months 2020 were better than expected but the large majority experienced lower turnover than in 2019 and the decrease was significant –60% on average.
Over a third of businesses reported that they did worse than expected when they re-opened in the summer or early autumn months (2020). One in four did do better than they expected. A breakdown by sector and by region is available in the report to download.
1.2 Revenue losses
Almost all businesses reported losses due to the pandemic. At the time of the survey (November/December 2020) revenue losses tended to be in the region of £10,000 to £50,000. More than half of all businesses responding claim to have lost up to £50,000 (58%). 39% reported losses of more than £50,000, with one in ten losing more than £500,000.