Edinburgh Fringe Festival

COVID-19 update | The recovery of Scotland’s vibrant events industry

Like so many others, I was personally looking forward to a rich spring and summer packed with a range of sporting, cultural and Themed Year events bringing friends and family, athletes and artists, creatives and communities together across the whole country. However, the arrival of COVID-19 has meant that for the first time ever, an entire season of events and festivals have either had to be cancelled or rescheduled.

The events sector plays a vital role in our visitor economy. We’ve been doing all we can to support the industry through these challenging times from one-to-one support for individual events to virtual forums to really understand where the current challenges are for the industry as we move towards the ‘new normal’.

While there are undoubtably some over-arching common themes these discussions are helping us develop a recovery plan for an industry that will be one of the last sectors to recover given the complexity around holding events while social distancing measures are still in place.

Just like many other sectors of the tourism industry, the recovery of Scotland’s vibrant events industry will take time. For more than 15 years we’ve worked hard to build Scotland into a world-leading events destination and, while COVID-19 has forced a monumental shift in the industry, it will return once more to being ‘The Perfect Stage’. Read more in my blog and, for now, enjoy this week’s enews.

Malcolm Roughead

Kind regards,

Malcolm Roughead OBE
Chief Executive, VisitScotland

Vicki Miller, VisitScotland

NEW | Live webinar with Vicki Miller

Around 300 businesses tuned in to hear about 'our marketing recovery plans' from Director of Marketing, Vicki Miller, in our second webinar looking at our recovery plans. We had a number of questions asked as part of the webinar and we've added answers to these, as well as the full video, to our website.

Watch it now

NEW | Webinars coming up 

There's two webinars left in this series. On 2 June, you can hear from Director of Events, Paul Bush, on The impact on the events industry and looking ahead to operating in a new normNext up on 25 May is Senior Tourism Insight Manager, Chris Greenwood, who'll look at What the world of tourism looks like and how the "new normal" will be. Chris will explore how businesses will have to adapt, be flexible and understand national, regional and local legislations to be able to operate. 

Sign up now
Business advice

UPDATED | Business support and resources

Our advice section can help you find the information you need to help with the current COVID-19 situation. This includes Government advice and FAQs, financial support, Online Travel Agent updates, Scottish Tourism Emergency Response Group (STERG) updates and useful signposting to other sources of support. We also have advice specifically for the events industry. 

And remember our business advice team is here to help and offer dedicated tourism business support. Contact business.advice@visitscotland.com.

Get COVID-19 advice
Scottish Thistles

NEW | Scottish Thistle Awards 2020/21 cancelled

Given the current situation, this year’s Scottish Thistle Awards programme has been cancelled. The Awards are Scotland’s premier awards for the tourism industry, recognising businesses, events and individuals for their valuable contribution to the sector. A time for celebration will return, but it's not now.

Full details

UPDATE | Marketing intelligence report 

In this week’s edition, we look at the UNWTO's stark predictions for global tourism and some encouraging signs of innovation to adapt to the 'new normal'.  Plus, research into Scottish visitor intentions for both day visits and overnight stays.

Get some insight
A view towards the Cheviot Hills
St Andrews

NEW | Dream now, travel later…

As we’ve entered the ‘reset’ phase, we've continued to keep Scotland front of mind, so that when countries are able to travel again, we're top of their wish list. We've looked to inspire through engaging articles, blogs, activities, videos and images that are sure to leave a lasting impression…

Marketing update
North Berwick

UPDATE | Year of Coasts and Waters extended

Scottish Ministers have agreed to extend Year of Coasts and Waters 2020 into 2021 as part of Scotland’s Tourism & Events Covid19 recovery plan.
This has been agreed on the basis that further feasibility work, undertaken by our Themed Years team, supports the move.

Read more
Digital skills

NEW | Marketing your business right now 

Join our marketing team’s webinar on Thursday 28 May for top tips on marketing your business right now. Learn how to continue to remain in the minds of your customers, gain new fans and be visible when visitors start thinking about booking again.

Get some tips
Skara Brae

NEW | A regional perspective: Orkney 

Hear from our Development Manager for Orkney, Cheryl Chapman, on how we're responding to the current COVID-19 situation and how Orkney can work together towards recovery. Keep an eye on our news section for more from our regional teams.

Hello from Orkney

News in brief

Get webinar readyAs more webinars become available, read our top tips and best practice advice for tuning into online webinars, so you can make the most of your learning experience.
EVE webinar series | We’ve worked with ASVA to adapt their popular Exceeding Visitor Expectations (EVE) course from the classroom to online learning during lockdown.
Interface offers academic supportInterface is offering you the chance to collaborate with academics and students with expertise in tourism and marketing to help support your business.

 And finally...

The First Minister has announced a route map setting out a phased approach to easing lockdown restrictions while still suppressing COVID-19. It covers changes in key areas including: getting around; working or running a business; shopping, eating out and drinking; sport, culture and leisure; community and public services; and gatherings and occasions. Read COVID-19: Scotland’s route map for transitioning through and out of the crisis.

Never before have we appreciated Scotland's great outdoors so much! But it's important to remember that our open spaces may look a little different now and we need to behave a little differently when we visit them. We’ve added tips and advice on how to enjoy these spaces responsibly to VisitScotland.com.

You’ll find the latest industry and COVID-19 news for Scotland on our site and be sure to follow us on Twitter @VisitScotNews and LinkedIn.