The Scottish Tourism Recovery Taskforce has published its recommendations for supporting the sector’s recovery from the coronavirus pandemic. The taskforce was charged with looking at what priority rescue measures both the Scottish and UK governments can take to bolster recovery.
The report has been undertaken by circa 30 industry leaders from across all sectors of the Scottish tourism and hospitality industry plus union representatives and government ministers and agency officials.
The group collectively believe that if the recommendations are supported and acted on by both Scottish and UK Governments and that there is a collaborative transparent working partnership with the industry as has been the case when developing Scotland’s recently launched tourism strategy Scotland Outlook 2030, the sector can drive the nations’ economic recovery and get back on track to achieve our collective vision.
Overview of the recommendations
Immediate Actions For Scottish Government
- Work with the sector on planning appropriate evidence based restrictions and proportionate, fair financial compensation arrangements if further lock downs are required.
- Provide additional targeted grant support and advice to tourism and hospitality business who have either not been able to trade at all or sufficiently well enough to generate enough revenue to see them through the coming 6-9 months of off season.
- Provide support to improve workplace safety and a skills development package to retain talent and develop leadership skills.
- Extend Business Rates Holiday for another year targeted at sectors and regions most impacted.
- Fund marketing support to boost visitor demand and increase visitor confidence at the right time.
- Progress alternative options for robust Testing Regimes – to facilitate and drive international travel.
- Support a request to UK Government for temporary removal of Air Passenger Duty to boost route competitiveness if this can be aligned with longer term Scottish Government Climate Change ambitions.
Immediate Actions For UK Government
- Provide enhanced tailored support for the tourism/hospitality sectors (beyond what is offered via the Job Support Scheme).
- Commit to a permanent VAT reduction for hospitality and an extension to help the broader supply chain beyond March 2021.
- Review of other taxation measures to support the sector through recovery.
- Enable investment for growth by reducing the cost of loans through the introduction of a government backed soft equity loan scheme.
- Reconsider the policy to abolish Duty Free taxation in the UK.