Local MSP for Dumbarton, Vale of Leven and Helensburgh has called for sector specific financial assistance for the tourism industry, after concerns were locally about the tourism industry’s ability to recover from the pandemic.
Tourism accounts for a significant proportion of both the local economy, with Loch Lomond on our doorstep, and also that of the wider Scottish economy. However there are growing fears that as one of the hardest hit industries during the pandemic, that it won’t see a full recovery until at least March next year.
Raising concerns for the many people that are employed in the industry and the wider economy that it supports, Jackie Baillie MSP has called on the Scottish Government to urgently set up a sector specific financial assistance for the industry for when the Job Furlough Scheme ends in October.
Commenting Jackie Baillie MSP said:
“I have been contacted by a number of constituents who work in the local tourism industry and there are serious concerns about the impact the Covid-19 pandemic has had on local businesses. Many are concerned that when the Job Furlough Scheme comes to an end, there could be the risk of job losses or businesses closing.
“The tourism industry is vitally important not just to local economy, but to the Scottish economy. It employs large numbers of people, but it also supports many other businesses as part of the wider supply chain.
“I have been calling on the Scottish Government to invest in the economy generally but there is a need for specific action with tourism as it is unlikely that the sector will recover until at least March. It must be a priority to prevent local job losses.
“I welcome the Cabinet Secretary for Finance’s commitment to consider this and recognise that a start has been made with the setting up of the Tourism Action Group, but it is vital that progress is made and made urgently, other we will face huge job losses locally.
NOTES TO EDITOR:
Copy of Jackie’s question and the Cabinet Secretary for Finance answer as taken from the Scottish Parliament Official Record of Portfolio Questions on Finance on Thursday 13th August 2020 below:
The tourism industry accounts for a significant part of the local and Scottish economies. Many of my constituents who work in the Loch Lomond area are worried that they will not see a proper recovery until March next year. In the absence of any continuation of the United Kingdom furlough scheme, will the cabinet secretary do something on a sector-specific basis to protect jobs in the tourism industry?
The short answer is yes. Like Jackie Baillie, I have a constituency in which many businesses rely on tourism and are now facing real challenges.
I will quickly make three points. The tourism action group has met regularly to look at sector-related support. Secondly, we recently announced additional support to help hotels to recover and to protect jobs there. Thirdly, I have already shared information about the youth guarantee and the substantial sums of money that we have put in place to ensure that young people in particular have the option to train or to get a job. We will work with employers, including those in the tourism industry, to access that support so that they can keep people employed even when trading conditions are challenging.