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Visit Scotland | Alba

Moment for Change | Get Tourism Ready

How you prepare to reopen and continue to provide a safe environment for your customers and staff once open, is crucially important. There’s a lot to consider and we’ve worked with the Scottish Government and industry sector groups to bring you key requirements that need to be undertaken.

The Scottish Government has now published updated guidance for the tourism and hospitality sectors. Many of the standard aspects of the guidance remain the same, such as physical distancing, face coverings, at seat service in hospitality and enhanced hygiene protocols. Safe operating practices continue to be the subject of a risk-based approach, with all premises required to revisit their COVID-19 risk assessments. 

On this page:

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a devastating impact on the tourism and events industry. But it does give us the opportunity to review how we rebuild our visitor economy together, working with the tourism and events industry, stakeholders and the communities we operate in. This really is a moment for change.

Government advice and FAQs

Due to some misinformation circulating, it is important to note: 

  • There are no rules on table sizes. 
  • Social distancing rules for hospitality remain as they were last year.
  • Groups from different households can sit at the same table but should be socially distanced from those in other households.

Take a look at our Government advice and FAQ page which hosts Scottish Government updates on the route map, useful links to content such as travel rules, quarantine rules, test and protect, check in Scotland and COVID-19 resources (such as posters and leaflets).

Read the full list of frequently asked questions (FAQs) related to the tourism and hospitality guidance.

Guidance from your sector

Guidance has been produced across sector groups to provide you with best practice advice for your business in order to be ready to welcome visitors safely. These guidelines should help you to understand what you need to do.

Please note, some of the groups are currently in the process of updating these documents for 2021 in line with the updates published by Scottish Government.

We're good to go

In order to give confidence to your visitors, we’ve worked with VisitEngland, Visit Wales and Tourism Northern Ireland to create a UK-wide industry standard and consumer mark.

Once you’ve completed the self-assessment, you’ll be given a link to a toolkit with logos and guidelines for the We’re Good to Go mark that can be used across your marketing channels and signage, plus a downloadable certificate for display on the premises. You can also download a Gaelic version of the mark as part of the process.

A call-handling service will provide support and assessors will also carry-out random spot-checks to ensure businesses are adhering to the guidance.

Businesses who have the We’re Good to Go industry standard scheme can be automatically issued with the international Safe Travels stamp from the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC). You need to register via your 'We're Good to Go' account.

From 26 April, both We're Good to Go and Safe Travels will appear on VisitScotland web listings and visitors can filter for them in their searches. Visibility of the stamp will offer added reassurance for visitors making plans to visit.

Get tourism ready webinar with VisitScotland

On Tuesday 13 April over 350 tourism professionals tuned in to our latest 'Get Tourism Ready' webinar to hear about consumer insights, marketing Scotland and industry support as we draw closer to the date the tourism and hospitality sector begins to reopen. Watch it now.

Get Tourism Ready | Preparing for reopening 2021

Get Tourism Ready | case studies

Back in early summer 2020, there was lots of work going on behind the scenes to 'Get Tourism Ready', as businesses put new measures in place to help protect staff, customers and communities. 

Here are some examples:

  • Real Food Café, Tyndrum

    The Real Food Café in Tyndrum has been investing in new measures to get the business ready to open safely and responsibly on Thursday 23 July. Included in these measures, is a new Click and Collect system, new uniforms and PPE for staff and newly installed hard plastic screens at service points. Cafe staff have also received training in the new protocols and new signage will make both staff and customers aware of new safety measures.

  • Garleton Lodge, East Lothian

    Garleton Lodge, a five-star luxury B&B/small hotel, restaurant and spa in East Lothian has put several measures in place to plan for reopening on 15 July, in line with Scottish Government guidance. Set out in their 'Commitment to Guests' these include the introduction of flexible terms of booking made directly with the hotel, giving guests confidence and protection in the event that circumstances change. 

  • Ness Walk Hotel, Inverness

    The Ness Walk Hotel, a five-star property located on the banks of the River Ness have implemented a series of new initiatives under the 'Safely Sound' banner so guests can enjoy their stay, whilst feeling reassured that the appropriate procedures are being followed. This includes contactless check in and enhanced and developed rigorous cleaning protocols.

  • Craufurdland Estate, Ayrshire

    Craufurdland Castle and Estate is preparing to reopen on 15 July. The estate which offers restaurant, accommodation and outdoor activities will see visitors enjoy the new Tree Top Trails high wire experience with reduced numbers, additional physical distancing and PPE for both customers and staff. During lockdown the estate has offered a takeaway and grocery service and has recently reopened an outdoor seating area. The next phase will see the reopening of the restaurant and self-catering accommodation following distancing measures and new cleaning protocols.

Further resources