Travel Industry Issues 'Plea for Support' to Scottish Government

Monday, 16 November 2020

Scottish Chambers of Commerce has written to the Scottish Government outlining Key Asks to support the travel industry. In a letter addressed to the Minister for Business, Fair Work & Skills, Jamie Hepburn MSP, Scottish Chambers of Commerce have asked for: 

  • On Business Support: provide an immediate support package to cover overhead costs and support employment costs.
  • On Quarantine: avoid blanket quarantines for inbound/outbound travellers and adopt regionalised approach.
  • On Testing: increase focus on developing and delivering testing capacity and capabilities with Scottish airports, to boost consumer confidence and reduce passenger requirement to self-isolate.
  • On Air Passenger Duty: review this policy position afresh in partnership with the UK Government to reduce APD as a mechanism to boost consumer confidence.
  • On Collaboration: continue working with the UK Government, with specific focus on establishing an "international standard" for self-isolation, testing and travel corridors.

Charandeep Singh, Deputy Chief Executive, Scottish Chambers of Commerce, said:

"The travel industry is facing significant pressures as a result of the pandemic and lockdown restrictions. Despite the best efforts of our members to keep trading and retain jobs, the lack of direct financial support and the tightening of restrictions is making the trading environment exceptionally challenging. The industry is facing unprecedented challenges, including a drop in demand which will impact employment and business viability.

"We need to step up our efforts and do everything that we can to safeguard these vital businesses and protect the talent and expertise of employees in the industry. An immediate support package from the Scottish Government to support business and employment costs is needed now to provide relief for the sector."

Joanne Dooey, President of Scottish Passenger Agents’ Association (SPAA), said:

"Scotland is a small country which needs its connectivity to the rest of the globe. We have already lost important air routes. If this continues to happen, it will be catastrophic for the Scottish economy. We need support from the Scottish Government quickly to save our businesses.”

Linda Hill Miller, Founder & Owner of LAH Travel, said:

"During this crisis, the travel sector has been the first port of call for travellers and we have stepped up to support our customers – we provided advice and guidance to travellers, issued refunds, re-arranged family holidays and more. We now need the Scottish Government to step up for our industry and provide us with the support we need to survive this crisis."