Castle Stalker

We’re here and ready to help

Many of you will have looked at your diary today and reflected that this should have been day one of VisitScotland Expo. Before COVID-19 forced our hand and we had to make the very tough decision to cancel this year’s event, it had looked set to be one of our best ever.
 
At VisitScotland we’re putting all our efforts into responding to the unprecedented challenges facing our industry. Our goal is to ensure that tourism rebounds to become one of the most successful sectors of the Scottish economy once more.
 
One immediate source of support, we hope, has been our decision to refund the stand fees of Expo participants, and then additionally to waive the 2020 annual Quality Assurance (QA) membership fee for the 4,300 businesses across Scotland who participate in our Scheme.
 
We’re here to help you and as well as offering practical support, we’re working with the Scottish Government to highlight and to resolve some of the key issues you are facing. 
 
Post-COVID-19, we’ll work with you to drive tourism recovery through leisure and business events, marketing and will provide support to ensure that Scotland's tourism businesses are ready to welcome our international and domestic visitors once again.

Kind regards

Charlie Smith

Malcolm Roughead OBE
Chief Executive, VisitScotland

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Business advice and resources

Our team is committed to doing whatever we can to support you at this critical time. We’ve set up a business advice team for dedicated tourism business support, consisting of our experienced Industry Relationship Managers and Quality & Tourism Advisors, supported by our Customer Services team. They all have experience of Scottish tourism across its regions and sectors. 

They can be reached at business.advice@visitscotland.com and can help you with any questions you have about business operations or marketing at this time.
 
Our COVID-19 advice page on VisitScotland.org has the latest updates and advice, frequently asked questions and Q&As providing Scottish Government’s response to questions you've raised. Here you'll also find information on wider industry representation and useful signposting to other sources of support, such as findbusinesssupport.gov.scot for financial support – and more. 

Get Covid-19 advice
VisitScotland Expo

VisitScotland Expo 2020 – the work continues

However disappointed we've felt to not now be welcoming our Expo buyers in person, that's not prevented us from continuing our work to ensure opportunities are not lost for Scotland, reaching out directly to key planners and providing them with support as they  continue to work to develop new Scotland programmes for 2021 and beyond.
 
For those of you who had booked to participate, we’ve kept the VisitScotland Expo 2020 website and its contents live, and we're continuing to develop plans for future business to business activities to support your product development activity, both digitally and in-market, when the time is right. 

Keep an eye on activity

Quality Assurance refund

We’ve taken the decision not to charge businesses for their Quality Assurance Scheme membership this year. For those who’ve already made payment, please ensure you complete a refund request form – should you no longer have the link please contact us and our team will re-send.  For businesses who’ve already submitted refund request forms, our finance team is working to process these, and all refunds should be completed by end of April. 

Contact our team
Market intelligence

Market intelligence

Although we’ve paused proactive, paid marketing activity at this time, we continue to engage our audience with appropriate social media and database activity. To develop our approach going forward we’re monitoring the sentiment and behaviours of our target audiences and working with partners to constantly track travel trends to allow us, and the industry, to know when we can best restart our activity.

View our insights
Lochend Chalets, Port of Menteith

Survey results 

We’re proactively tracking the effects of coronavirus on the industry. This is a rapidly changing situation and it's important for us, with your valued regular input, to be able to monitor developments. We’ve conducted two surveys thus far, both have allowed us to see the impact across Scottish tourism and inform the Scottish Government and other industry bodies. The most recent results are just in...

See the Latest results
Bluebells on Inchcailloch island

VisitScotland activity

Our own staff are now working from home and continuing to keep in touch and support their customers and stakeholders throughout the COVID-19 disruption. We're here to support during this challenging time and doing everything we can to help in what is a rapidly evolving environment.
 
Here’s a round-up on what we're currently up to in terms of marketing, contingency planning, communications activity and our continued engagement with the tourism industry and partners, as well as with other national tourism organisations and bodies around the globe, who are a useful source of comparison and sharing of best practice. 

What are we doing?
Dunbar Bear

Update from STERG

Many of you will be aware that we reactivated the Scottish Tourism Emergency Response Group (STERG), in response to the COVID-19 crisis. The group meets regularly, listens to industry concerns via the Scottish Tourism Alliance, other partners and us, agrees actions, communications to and from industry, and provides advice to the Cabinet Secretary, enabling a fleet of foot response at this stage in the crisis. 

Meeting updates
New Aberdour

Recruitment portal

A free-to-use jobs portal to help workers from the tourism and hospitality sectors who’ve found themselves displaced as a result of the COVID-19 situation has been launched.

Supported by the Scottish Tourism Alliance (STA) and UK Hospitality, the recruitment portal is designed to help tourism and hospitality staff find at least temporary employment in other sectors that now require high volumes of staff to get through the crisis.  

Read more
St Abbs, Scottish Borders

Stay up to date

View updates on the current COVID-19 situation in our news section - this includes business support announcements from the UK and Scottish Governments. And most recently we've been working with Online Travel Agencies (OTA's) to support businesses and have listed the latest support and funding announced for industry.
 
And finally, be sure to follow us on Twitter @VisitScotNews and LinkedIn

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