A multi-million pound package of additional support has been provided by the SNP Government to help tourism and hospitality businesses recover from the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Delivered in the first 100 days this government, the support is part of a wider £129 million investment in the sector which has been particularly hard hit by the pandemic.
The package includes:
£4 million for VisitScotland to deliver the Days Out scheme which will help support the tourism sector throughout the year
£3 million for domestic marketing highlighting Scotland as an attractive year round destination
£1.4 million for holiday vouchers for carers and low income families
More than 60 jobs, including 47 seasonal rangers, have also been funded to support rural and island areas cope with higher than usual visitor numbers due to the rise in staycations this summer.
Economy Secretary Kate Forbes MSP said:
"The past year has been extremely difficult for many businesses, especially in our prized tourism and hospitality sector. As well as being impacted by the necessary public health restrictions to curtail the spread of the virus, Brexit has also caused problems, particularly regarding staffing and supplies.
“The SNP Government has worked closely with industry at every stage of the pandemic to deliver where we can on its asks, including 100% non-domestic rates relief, specific restart grants and funding to help alleviate staffing concerns.
Kenneth Gibson MSP added:
“Our tourism and hospitality sector is key to the Ayrshire economy, and as such, the SNP Government was right to provide this £129 million support package.
“It is great to see so many people enjoying their holidays locally and staying in Scotland, and spending in our towns and villages. However, tourist economies have been hit hard over the past 18 months and continue to need both our support and the SNP Government’s to aid their recovery.”
Since the start of the pandemic, businesses across Scotland have directly benefited from more than £3.7 billion in support, more than a third of total COVID-19 funding which includes £2.8 billion in grants and £965 million in COVID-19 non-domestic rates relief.