January 12, 2021
We recognise that the current Covid-19/Coronavirus situation presents significant challenges for tourism businesses in the National Park.
We have created this page to provide useful information and links to support local businesses during this time.
Scottish Government updated its Hospitality and Tourism Guidance on 4 January 2021.
As the tourism sector reopens in the National Park we are supporting both businesses in the Park and the communities who live around them, so that everyone has confidence to use and enjoy the National Park safely and responsibly. Read more on our Respect Your Park web page.
On 21st December, the Scottish Government announced a further £104m Lifeline fund for tourism and hospitality.
A top-up of grant support for hospitality, retail and leisure businesses across Scotland closed by level 4 restrictions was confirmed on 11th January 2021. This fund provides one-off grants between £6000 – £25,000. The fund will be administered by Local Authorities and will automatically be paid to businesses who have already registered for the ‘Strategic Framework’ fund. Businesses who have not yet registered should do so following the Local Authority links provided on this page.
Other grants and funding available include:
Year of Coasts and Waters
The VisitScotland led themed Year of Coasts and Waters has been extended into 2021. They have published a business toolkit with further information on how you can get involved and make use of the new logo, social media handles, etc for promotional use. There are also some good case studies of how other businesses have linked with the themed year.
Test and Protect
The Scottish Government has today launched a new Test and Protect contact tracing service for use in hospitality venues.
Scotland Loves Local Fund
Providing grants between £500 – £5000, the new £1m Scotland Loves Local Fund aims to support small-scale improvement projects to promote town centres and online businesses to help motivate people to buy within their community while ensuring public health safety.
New food and drink directory
Scotland Food & Drink have launched a new online directory to help food and drink businesses connect with customers locally. With traditional markets currently inaccessible to producers, many have switched to a direct sell model. Many consumers are also opting for online or telephone ordering so this platform is designed to allow them to search by product, region and business in any area of Scotland. Food & Drink businesses are encouraged to sign up as partners and create a listing to help them connect to consumers in their area. You can also request to be listed in the directory.
VisitScotland have created a useful Scenario Planning Toolkit to help businesses to plan ahead with the various challenges likely to be faced in 2021. This is aimed at helping to develop flexible strategies to support the important route to recovery.
We are monitoring the situation closely and are liaising with partner and national organisations to ensure up to date advice is relayed to local businesses.
We are also in direct contact with the Scottish Government and key public agencies to influence and support response planning at a national and regional level.
We have close links with the business community and we are actively engaging with businesses to fully understand the scope of the impact on travel and tourism. The National Park Authority has a role in supporting and developing the local economy and will continue to support the collective voice of the communities of the National Park and to support the tourism sector at this time.
In addition, The National Park Destination Group have co-ordinated a response to the issue and through the active involvement of a range of business operators, have taken steps to seek business support from the Scottish Government. This request is supported by the National Park Authority and we will continue to work closely with this group to represent business interests throughout the challenging months ahead.
The Scottish Government has set up a dedicated helpline, providing businesses across Scotland with advice and guidance on COVID-19. The helpline is open Monday to Friday, between 8.30am to 5.30pm on 0300 303 0660 to answer questions from businesses related to COVID-19. The helpline will also help the Scottish Government identify the current challenges facing businesses. Callers should select option one to speak to the COVID-19 team.
Business support and advice is also available online at:
The Scottish Tourism Alliance (STA) are in close contact with the Scottish Government regarding financial support to businesses over the forthcoming months. They are continuing to lobby on behalf of the tourism industry in Scotland and have provided advice on their website.
VisitScotland and EventScotland are key public bodies at a national, strategic level who have also issued updates on the developments within the industry and impact of Government advice on the delivery of events which would attract mass gatherings of more than 500 people. Travel advice links are also provided by VisitScotland who continue to monitor and advise further on international travel and for visitors already within Scotland. VisitScotland has also published a great resource titled ‘Get Tourism Ready‘ which has further sectoral guidance.
Stirling Council in collaboration with STEP, Business Gateway, Forth Valley Chamber of Commerce, The Federation of Small Businesses, Go Forth Stirling, VisitScotland and Scottish Enterprise are developing a package of measures designed to safeguard as many of Stirling’s businesses as possible as the Covid-19 crisis continues.
The Forth Valley Tourism Recovery Programme provides cross agency business support to help address the challenges being faced during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Other government support grants are being administered by Local Authorities throughout the National Park, you can find more information on the Argyll & Bute Council, West Dunbartonshire Council and Perth & Kinross Council websites.
We will continue to monitor the situation and provide further updates on this page and social media channels.