Rebuilding Scotland's tourism industry together
Scottish tourism is facing up to its biggest challenge ever with Coronavirus impacting the entire industry. It is expected that the recovery will take some time and many businesses will require significant support to restart their operations.
The recovery of this crucial £11 billion industry requires a multi-agency approach, working with the tourism industry to help those affected today, tomorrow and in the future.
The Scottish Tourism Emergency Response Group (STERG) is working hard to help tourism businesses to recover from this unprecedented situation, working collaboratively to make the best use of budgets and their own employee’s time. They have one goal – to help the tourism industry return to being the economic and social powerhouse it once was.
The group, which consists of the Scottish Tourism Alliance (STA); VisitScotland (VS); COSLA; the three Enterprise Agencies - Scottish Enterprise (SE), South of Scotland Enterprise (SoSE), Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE); Skills Development Scotland (SDS) and the Scottish Government (SG), has been working on a single, joined-up, phased plan to not just combat the current issues but also look at how the industry could effectively restart and recover as restrictions imposed to suppress the virus are eased.
This has been a real team effort, giving the agencies an opportunity to refocus plans and redirect budget, as well as working alongside the tourism industry to work through daily issues.
The plan is aligned to the priorities outlined in Scotland Outlook 2030, the national tourism strategy and remains a living document which is updated on an ongoing basis and will continue to evolve in line with scientific evidence and government advice.
Responsible tourism will be core to this - working with local communities and destination organisations is crucial as we look to rebuild a successful tourism industry which allows locals and visitors to coexist and ensure the Scottish welcome is at the heart of the visitor experience.