Tuesday brought a real chink of light to the tourism industry with the First Minister’s announcement of an indicative date for relaunch. There are some significant changes from 26 April with travel allowed across mainland Scotland and tourist accommodation allowed to reopen.
There are still some restrictions on the sale of alcohol in hospitality until the middle of May, but life feels that there is maybe something more normal on the horizon. By 17 May, there will be a further reopening of hospitality with a chance for some small indoor and outdoor events to resume. By the end of June some kind of normal life can start to emerge, assuming that the virus numbers continue to decrease.
Meanwhile, the industry continues to be supported by the Scottish Government through new funding streams to help them restart. Some areas like business events and festivals are still waiting but I don’t doubt that the tourism industry will restart with the same attention to safety and customer care that they did last year so I look forward it. For now, I’m away to book a restaurant and a holiday in Scotland! Here’s this week’s update.
Malcolm Roughead OBE
Chief Executive, VisitScotland