A new survey has been launched by Scottish tourism leaders to track the ongoing impact of the pandemic on businesses across all of Scotland’s regions.

The findings will be used to prioritise tourism recovery recommendations made to both the Scottish and UK governments, which were published recently by the Scottish Tourism Recovery Taskforce.

The Scottish Tourism Emergency Response Group (STERG), which is chaired by national tourism body VisitScotland, was convened as the pandemic took hold in March and has been charged with prioritising the Taskforce’s recommendations.

Those recommendations include:

  •  Working closely with the sector on necessary planning, advice and adequate compensation packages if evidence-based restrictions are required.
  •  Facilitating international travel by progressing alternative options for robust COVID-19 testing regimes.
  • Developing a package of short-term measures, including marketing support and sectoral advice via VisitScotland to boost demand and increase visitor confidence.
  • Extending the Business Rates Holiday for specific affected sectors and regions by another year.
  • Creation of a skills development package to retain talent and enhance staff leadership skills.
  • Extending the Rural Tourism Infrastructure Fund in order to improve and enhance visitor facilities.

    The survey is open to tourism businesses and is being administered by independent research agency Progressive Partnership on STERG’s behalf.

    It is open from 19 November to 6 December 2020.

    Riddell Graham, Director Of Industry & Destination Development at VisitScotland and Chair of STERG, said: “STERG was set-up to respond quickly to the pandemic, developing key funding streams, skills development and marketing activity to help businesses in the tourism and events industries. It’s been a real team effort to refocus funding and plans to help the industry through these unprecedented and uncertain times.“The survey will enable us to build up a current picture of the impact of the pandemic on the tourism sector right across Scotland and inform the next steps of the group. The more businesses take part in the survey, the more useful it will be for the future of our industry.”

    STERG consists of VisitScotland; COSLA; Scottish Enterprise; South of Scotland Enterprise; Highlands and Islands Enterprise; Skills Development Scotland; Scottish Tourism Alliance; and the Scottish Government.

    The survey can be found here: https://survey.progressivepartnership.co.uk/snapwebhost/s.asp?k=160519044250&L=1

    For more on the Taskforce recommendations: https://www.visitscotland.org/news/2020/tourism-taskforce