UKH welcomes clarity & support needed to help Scottish hospitality & tourism

UKHospitality has welcomed confirmation that Scottish hospitality and tourism businesses will be able to open from 15 July.

UKHospitality Executive Director for Scotland, Willie Macleod said, “It’s good to have some clarity from the Scottish Government and a real sense that we are moving towards the reopening of hospitality and tourism businesses.

Recognising that there may be a need to change dates and timing in the interests of health and safety, it will take time, weeks in some cases, for businesses to get back in working order, communicate with customers, handle bookings, arrange staffing and order supplies, so this lead-time is very helpful.

UKH has developed detailed guidelines to assist businesses to reopen and looks forward to the publication of the Scottish Government’s own guidance on 18 June.

Businesses will need ongoing support – many to see them through to the Spring of 2021 – this support includes grants to those with rateable values above £51k and any underspend on grants made available thus far must be directed in this way. The proposed recovery task force is a welcome step and there will be a need for radical steps including a substantial reduction in VAT to kick-start the tourism economy.

Macleod continued, “Consumer confidence is going to be vital to businesses as the sector reopens. Hospitality and tourism businesses in Scotland have been hammered very hard and trading will be tricky once they reopen. Social distancing measures will be in place and businesses will only be able to operate at a fraction of normal capacity.

“It’s therefore vital that we get as much support as possible. A positive and very visible campaign from the Scottish Government to encourage customers to get back out and support businesses is needed. We need it to make the case for supporting two vital pillars of the Scottish economy that have been hit seriously hard over the past few months.'