Scottish Parliament tourism commitee calls for views on how sector can bounce back from coronavirus

Convener Joan McAlpine MSP watches on as the Culture Tourism Europe and External Relations Committee takes evidence on The implications of the EU referendum for Scotland. 02 February 2017 . Pic-Andrew Cowan/Scottish Parliament

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The Scottish Parliament’s Culture, Tourism, Europe and External Affairs Committee has today (Wednesday) issued a call for views from the culture and tourism industry on the current COVID-19 crisis.

The committee is seeking to consider how best the industry can be supported during this unprecedented time.

The committee will use feedback received to recommend how the Government should provide effective support that mitigates the devastating impact the virus is having on the industries.

The committee has set no deadline for responses and the call for views will remain open on an ongoing basis and will provide a forum for raising issues of concern.

Committee Convener, Joan McAlpine MSP, said: ‘These are unprecedented times and the committee is here to listen. As the weather warms our tourism industry should be coming into its high season. Instead hotels are empty, pubs are dry, and theatres are quiet.

‘Visitors have been told not to travel to rural areas for understandable reasons, but that will have a devastating impact on tourism business in some already fragile local economies.

‘The protection of life and the ability of the NHS to cope as the virus spreads has rightly been the priority but the long-term impact that COVID-19 has created will last longer than any lockdown.

‘Scotland relies heavily on its tourism and culture industry and it is vital that our industries are supported effectively during this crisis, so that they can come back and contribute to the economy once more.’

Deputy Convener Claire Baker MSP added: M’itigating the impact of this crisis must be a top priority of the Scottish Government, as it is for the committee.

‘The mass cancellation of events and the effective lockdown of tourism will have a profound lasting effect. We will be working with the Cabinet Secretary to ensure all that can be done is being done.’

The committee will publish responses on its website on a regular basis over the coming weeks and months.