Scottish business and industry groups, including Scottish Chambers of Commerce, have written to the First Minister, warning that Scotland’s 2022 tourism season is at “serious risk” due to the planned restrictions around international travel.
The Scottish Government plans to diverge from the rest of the UK on the requirement for fully vaccinated travellers into the country to pay for a day two Covid-19 test from the start of October alongside other changes to the ‘traffic light’ system for international travel.
The letter, signed by more than 40 business and tourism groups, states:
“The Scottish Government’s decision to step out of alignment with Europe and England in relation to the easing of international travel restrictions not only adds a further significant adverse impact on the recovery of Scotland’s tourism industry but also to its whole supply chain.
“The long-term impact and costs are and will be significant. Our 2022 season is now at serious risk.
“Visitors are making plans and decisions around travel now. Scotland has now become one of the most uncompetitive destinations globally.
“It compounds the level of economic self-harm being inflicted by a policy from which the details of the health benefits are still to be understood.
“We recognise the need for a number of competing harms to be tackled, but have a growing concern that the immediate risk to jobs, well-being and the economy is not receiving the crisis attention or understanding of detail required.”
The letter concludes by demanding a meeting with ministers and senior officials to discuss how to “redress this imbalance” and tackle the “immediate risk to key sectors and businesses”.