Closures expected due to travel ban

Trading likely to be unviable until next year for many accommodation businesses


THE new law against travelling to and from level three and four areas is likely to lead to hotel closures across Scotland, according to the Scottish Tourism Alliance.

From Friday at 6pm it will become illegal for anyone in level three or four areas to travel outside of their council area, other than for essential purposes.

Eleven council areas will be placed into level four of restrictions this Friday, requiring all premises in those areas to close for three weeks.

Even before that announcement several prominent Scottish hotels had decided to close until next year, including Gleneagles and the Old Course Hotel, due to the trading constraints imposed by coronavirus restrictions, while hotels including Aberdeen’s Ardoe House have gone out of business altogether.

Scottish Tourism Alliance chief executive, Marc Crothall, said he had spoken to several concerned hoteliers and trade groups this week about the ongoing restrictions.

“All, regardless of which tier they are in are faced with a situation where their footfall is largely wiped out due to the travel restrictions and the fact that alcohol can’t be served in the majority of hotel restaurants which means that they are not able to offer an experience in line with customer expectations,” said Crothall.

“This is leaving many with no option but to close, some for the three-week period, many for beyond that period and well into the new year.

“There’s obviously a great deal of uncertainty around what tier these hotels might go into after the three-week period when restrictions are reviewed, coupled with the fact that businesses are losing what would have been a significant amount of income in the run up to the festive period; many I believe will close their doors over the next couple of days until the end of January as the costs of remaining open with trading at such an unviable level are just too high.”