First minister announces £25 million tourism recovery fund

HOLIDAY vouchers, discounts for days out and a marketing fund are part of a new £25 million tourism recovery programme announced by first minister Nicola Sturgeon today (24th March).

Speaking at the Scottish Tourism Alliance’s virtual conference this morning, Sturgeon said the fund, the allocation of which will be set out in “due course”, is designed to “support the industry for the next six months to two years as we move back towards some form of normality”.

The programme, which has been developed by the Scottish Tourism Emergency Response Group (STERG) in partnership with businesses, a holiday voucher scheme, a days out incentive scheme, a talent development and leadership programme for tourism and hospitality staff, and a marketing fund to help organisations promote their destination or sector when domestic travel is able to resume.

First minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “It’s been an incredibly difficult year for all businesses but I don’t underestimate the acute challenges our tourism and hospitality sectors have faced.

“We’ve provided an unprecedented amount of funding for the sector, including over £129 million in business support and an extension of rates relief for 2021/22. But as the vaccine roll-out continues, and the lockdown restrictions begin to ease, we know more is needed to help tourism and hospitality businesses get firmly back on their feet.

“This is short-term recovery funding to support the industry for the next six months to two years as we move back towards some form of normality, and it ensures we can achieve the objectives of the taskforce.

“I set out a vision for Scotland to be a leader in 21st century tourism when I announced Scotland Outlook 2030 at this very conference last year. I am confident, that by working in partnership, we can still achieve this vision.”