11 June 2020
SWA welcomes re-start date for Scottish tourism
Commenting on the Scottish government announcement that Scottish tourism businesses can prepare to re-open from 15th July, Chief Executive of the SWA Karen Betts said:
“Tourism is a vital industry for Scotland, and it’s been one of the sectors hardest hit by the coronavirus. Scotch Whisky tourism is an important part of this, with more than 2 million visitors now coming to our distillery visitor centres around Scotland every year. So we have a very direct interest in how tourism recovers – for our companies, since many smaller distilleries rely on tourism for over half of their income, and also for the hotels, restaurants, pubs and other attractions that whisky distilleries work alongside locally.
“We are very conscious too that businesses in the sector employ many talented young people and also provide flexible careers for those who need them, and we want to do everything we can to ensure that these vital jobs are protected through the crisis.
“The Scottish government’s announcement that tourism businesses can prepare to re-open on 15th July is very welcome. The industry looks forward to working with government, others across the hospitality and tourism sector and local communities to revive the summer season, which will be vital to the survival of many – in particular, smaller – businesses. The right protocols will need to be in place to ensure it’s viable for businesses to reopen while giving confidence to staff and consumers. Given the challenges, however, further support to businesses in the tourism and hospitality sector may still be necessary.”