July 3, 2020
We recognise that the current Covid-19/Coronavirus situation presents significant challenges for tourism businesses in the National Park and that the impact of this is already being felt.
We have created this page to provide useful information and links to support local businesses during this time.
The Scottish Government has set a provisional date of Wednesday 15th July for the reopening of the tourism and hospitality sector, including accommodation providers, pubs and restaurants. During a Ministerial Statement on the subject, Cabinet Secretary for Rural Economy and Tourism Fergus Ewing said the date would be conditional on public health advice and successful progression to Phase 3 of the lockdown route-map. The Cabinet Secretary also announced the establishment of a taskforce to oversee the recovery of the tourism industry, which will consider actions being taken by the UK Government and the development of a new domestic visitor campaign. More information on the announcement can be found on the Scottish Government website.
Scottish Government published the Tourism and Hospitality Safer Workplace Guidance on Thursday 18th June.
A guide for caravan sites and holiday parks has also been published.
The UK Government has announced an extension to furlough payments through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme for workers to the end of October. This fund is live for applications to HMRC.
The Scottish Government announced a 4 phase routemap out of lockdown on Thursday 21st May.
Other grants and funding available include:
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.
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.
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.