Tourism organisation issues 'visitor charter' for Scotland as restrictions ease

VisitScotland has issued a new visitor charter on how to enjoy Scotland in the coming months - as lockdown restrictions ease.

The national tourism organisation has developed tips aimed at encouraging safe and responsible travel.

From today, people can travel further than five miles for leisure and recreation purposes - while self-catering accommodation providers can also reopen today. 

Other parts of the hospitality and tourism industry will reopen in the coming weeks, which is expected to lead to an increase of visitors to various parts of the country.

The guidance includes:

  • Not travelling if you have COVID-19  symptoms or have been told to self-isolate
  • Observing physical distancing measures
  • Regular use of hand sanitiser and regular handwashing
  • Planning ahead and checking if businesses and attractions are open and welcoming visitors
  • Being considerate of local communities and their precious resources
  • Supporting the local tourism industry by eating local, seeing local and buying local

This advice will sit alongside several visitor charters and advice already being produced by sector groups and destination organisations.

Last week, VisitScotland announced a new marketing campaign inspiring Scots to rediscover their own country and enjoy what is on their doorstep.

Fergus Ewing MSP, tourism secretary, said: "Visitors are at the heart of Scotland’s tourism industry and they will be vital in restarting and recovering the sector from the devastating impacts of coronavirus.

"I’m pleased to launch this new visitor charter today, as we start to see some areas of the sector reopening. This guidance will be an instrumental tool in helping tourists travel responsibly and I encourage everybody who may be planning a staycation this year to familiarise themselves with it.

"We all have a part to play in ensuring the tourism industry can reopen safely and securely, whilst suppressing the spread of the virus."

Malcolm Roughead, VisitScotland chief executive, said: "We are pleased that after a very difficult few months Scotland’s tourism industry are starting to welcome visitors.

"However, it’s important to remember that things may be a little different now, there may be reduced facilities available or if busy, a greater need to follow physical distancing restrictions to protect yourself and others.

"Planning and researching will also become an important part of the holiday experience and we really want visitors to ‘know before they go’ when it comes to travel; checking what is open and pre-booking if required.

"By following this advice and all working together, we can help get Scottish tourism back on its feet in a safe and responsible way."

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