‘Bitter and angry’ tourism bodies in call for talks
Glasgow: still in level 3 lockdown
Two tourism and hospitality bodies have demanded urgent talks with Nicola Sturgeon as the latest u-turn on reopening in Glasgow is turning to “bitterness and anger”.
The Scottish Tourism Alliance (STA) and UKHospitality have written to the First Minister saying are increasingly concerned by the impact of the city remaining in level 3 restrictions, along with the added travel ban.
In their letter they call on the government to provide significantly more financial support above the £750 per business that has been offered.
They say that tourism and hospitality businesses in Glasgow have seen food and other supplies wasted, while staff rosters have been disrupted, all because the change was made at short notice.
“The majority of those staff will be new and ineligible for furloughed support,” they point out.
“Businesses had procured at a level to meet the anticipated demand and number of bookings; much food and beverage will go to waste at considerable cost with the supply chain now left in limbo.
“The travel ban in and out of Glasgow and has resulted in widespread cancellations for tourism businesses with bookings from those living within what are now level 3 areas.”
The letter goes on to raise concerns about the impact of the sudden change on employee welfare.
“The mental health of employers and indeed employees within the industry is now a great cause for concern,” says the letter.
“This was the last chance that many had to recoup some of the lost trade as a result of lockdown restrictions, significant investment has been made to reopen safely and give the public the confidence needed to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience.
“Emotions are running very high now within the industry and feelings of resilience and hope are now turning to bitterness and anger which is being directed towards the Scottish Government.”
“The £750 which has been announced to support businesses affected by the requirement to remain in level 3 is some way from what would be required to stabilise those businesses over the coming days and potentially weeks and protect employment within the sector. Those businesses require significantly more financial support.”
The two organisations say the industry now needs a timescale for when decisions will be taken in relation to reviewing the current situation in Glasgow and the criteria to meet those decisions.
Their letter follows anger expressed by business owners in the city that they have spent thousands complying with distancing rules while football fans and other demonstrators have been allowed to gather in large numbers.