Days out boost for Scottish tourism

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VisitScotland is encouraging businesses to apply to take part in a new Days Out incentive scheme that will provide a boost for visitor attractions during the winter.

Administered on behalf of the Scottish Government, the VisitScotland Days Out Incentive Fund will deliver £4million to support the recovery of the tourism industry in Scotland by subsidising the cost of a ticket to visitor attractions, day tour excursions and outdoor wildlife and adventure activities.

Successful applicants will be awarded funding to apply promotions of ‘up to 50 per cent off’ the cost of a ticket, up to the maximum discount value of £20 per transaction.

Visitor attractions, day tour excursions and activity providers interested in applying for the scheme, should visit www.visitscotland.org/supporting-your-business/funding/days-out-incentive-fund  for information on guidance and eligibility criteria. Applications will be open from 12 noon on Tuesday October 5 until 5pm on October 12.

The project is part of the £25million tourism recovery programme announced by the First Minister in March 2021. The recovery proposals were developed by the Scottish Tourism Emergency Response Group (STERG) in collaboration with members of the Tourism Task Force.

The scheme is fully funded by the Scottish Government and discounts will be applied for bookings between November 4 2021 and February 18 2022. It has been developed with input from the Association of Scottish Visitor Attractions (ASVA) and will help support the recovery of the tourism industry.

A marketing campaign will be launched by VisitScotland to coincide with the incentive scheme that will help inspire people to experience some of the fantastic attractions and experiences on offer around the country.

VisitScotland Director of Marketing Vicki Miller said: ‘The loss of international visitors over the past year has had a major impact on visitor attractions, tours and activity providers. The VisitScotland Days Out Voucher Fund will help generate income for this sector during the quieter winter months, as well as help rebuild consumer confidence in the face of COVID-19.

‘Tourism is a force for good – creating economic and social value in every corner of Scotland and enhancing the wellbeing of everyone who experiences it. Tourism makes Scotland richer, economically and socially, and without it, Scotland would be a much poorer place.’

Tourism Minister Ivan McKee said: ‘With the loss of many international tourists this year due to the pandemic, this £4 million fund will boost local visitor numbers and support the recovery of Scotland’s world-class tourism attractions.

‘Scotland’s tourism industry is a central plank of our economy and as we begin to carefully emerge and recover from the pandemic, we must work with the tourism industry to seize Scotland’s potential and build an economy for everyone by delivering greater, greener and fairer prosperity.’

Gordon Morrison, chief executive officer of the Association of Scottish Visitor Attractions said: ‘The pandemic has had a devastating impact on Scotland’s visitor attractions and the window of opportunity for their recovery has been extremely limited this year; the vast majority are still very much in survival mode. Our attractions are at the core of our country’s identity, culture and communities and will play a pivotal role in the economic recovery of the £11bn tourism industry so they desperately need additional, short-term support to make it through a very challenging winter period.

‘With international tourists unlikely to return in significant numbers for some time yet, the patronage of people in Scotland is more important now than ever before. The VisitScotland Days Out Incentive Fund will enable more attractions to extend their season, which in turn will boost footfall and spend in the wider economy.

‘Visitors can expect to enjoy unique, memorable experiences and the warmest of welcomes, along with the highest standard of safety measures – which have been praised as exemplary by the Scottish Government. Moreover, with significantly fewer overseas visitors, those taking advantage of the Days Out scheme will have more opportunities to explore and experience our world-class attractions with far less of the hustle and bustle often associated with visiting popular sites.

For details about how to apply for the fund, visit www.visitscotland.org/supporting-your-business/funding/days-out-incentive-fund