The Scottish Tourism Alliance (STA) this week has raised concerns about the supposed summer “boom” for Scottish tourism, following a survey of businesses. Research by the STA suggests that the majority of rural hotels in Scotland have had lower than 50% occupancy through the month of May, while 38% of respondents are taking below 20% of their normal food and drink income (with just 11% of respondents taking between 76 – 100% of the norm).
Commenting on the report, Orkney and Shetland MP, Alistair Carmichael said:
“Tourism businesses in the isles and around Scotland have been stuck between a rock and a hard place on reopening plans. Everyone wants to be responsible in their ways of working but it is challenging for hotels and other hospitality businesses to operate on a sound fiscal basis with limited numbers of visitors.
“It is small wonder, therefore, that almost a third of hospitality businesses chose not to reopen at the first opportunity in April and that many are still cautious about relaunch plans. That is why it is vital that governments in both Edinburgh and London are responsive to the changing needs of our visitor economy so that the hard work of past years is not wasted.
“Whether it is a continuation of the tourism VAT cut or targeted support to get businesses moving again, our vibrant visitor economy deserves the full backing of the government.