Tue 28 Apr 20
Based on previous experience dealing with the impacts of Foot and Mouth disease, Avian Flu and SARS, we’ve reactivated our tried and tested emergency planning process and held the first meeting of the Scottish Tourism Emergency Response Group (STERG) on 17 March.
This group will enable tourism industry bodies across Scotland to respond in a coordinated manner to the problems which result from a COVID-19 pandemic.
The group, which consists of COSLA, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Skills Development Scotland, the Scottish Government, Scottish Enterprise, South of Scotland Enterprise, the Scottish Tourism Alliance, and VisitScotland has been working on a single, joined-up, phased plan to not just combat the current issues but also look at how the industry could effectively recovery once the lockdown is eased. This has been a real team effort, giving the agencies an opportunity to refocus plans and redirect budget, as well as working alongside the tourism industry to work through daily issues.
The Group may need additional representation, either on an ad hoc basis depending on the subject at hand or on a permanent basis.
This page includes key notes and actions for the following meetings:
The group has been working on a single, joined-up, phased plan to not just combat the current issues but also look at how the industry could effectively recover once the lockdown is eased. This has been a real team effort, giving the agencies an opportunity to refocus plans and redirect budget, as well as working alongside the tourism industry to work through daily issues.
To respond most effectively, all work on Scotland Outlook 2030, the new national tourism strategy and the supporting action plan is temporarily on hold, as the entire focus has been shifted to supporting STERG develop a National Action Plan. The STERG National Action Plan will however look to align with Scotland Outlook 2030.
STERG’s immediate priorities are to support businesses by providing information and reassurance; safeguarding employment; and helping them access financial assistance to maintain cashflow and secure a viable future.
The four key areas within the plan are:
Respond: Focused on delivering a package of measures to support businesses, most in need communities, stay home and social distancing guidance.
Reset: Sectoral guidance to encourage workplace plans for the re-start. It will be essential for businesses to operate in a way that is compliant with social distancing and enable them to be more resilient to re-start safely within the new economic environment.
Restart: Kick-starting the economy safely is essential. We will need to consider the impact of supply chains and measures that need to be in place to enable businesses to come back on-stream in a safe and orderly way.
Recovery: Economic recovery is likely to take longer than originally anticipated. What emerges is likely to be a different economy characterised by new business models, markets and behaviours.
The year-long plan takes a phased approach and the group is currently collaborating to deliver the first two phases which are around respond and reset. This document will continue to evolve in line with the scientific evidence and government advice on the reopening of the tourism industry.
Phase two (Reset) is about engaging with the industry, supporting them and coordinating next moves to encourage workplace planning for a safe restart.
Published: April 2020
Stages three and four – Restart and Recover will be published soon but their focus will be post lockdown and will outline marketing activity, how we respond to the responsible and community tourism agenda and how to continue supporting the ambitions of Scotland Outlook 2030 and our vision to be the world leader in 21st century tourism.