Tourism in Scotland is facing its biggest challenge to date
The tourism industry in Scotland has taken a huge hit during the pandemic. It's worth £12 billion a year, but many businesses have gone under as they've been unable to open or rely heavily on tourists coming to Scotland. Hotels, restaurants, tours and pubs have all suffered as a result of the outbreak, unable to provide services.
Following the Scottish Government's latest easing of lockdown, it's business as usual for many. It couldn't come at a better time as the summer season gets underway, and it will be a huge relief for many whose income and takings have been non-existent.
Many people are still wary about travelling out of Scotland, which will come as a huge boost to businesses who will benefit from people holidaying in their own country. Tourists from green countries can travel to the UK to provide much needed extra revenue. For some, it may be too little too late, but for others it could make all the difference.
I truly can't wait to highlight some of these businesses' stories – how they've struggled, survived, and are trying to get back on track during the pandemic. How will they be affected should there be another Covid-19 wave? I know a couple who only took over a pub in the Lothian area in February 2020. They've now reopened, but prior to lockdown had invested a lot of money with no return. How are they fairing now they've finally managed to open? I intend to find out.
I want to share the stories affecting lives and communities across Scotland. Having lived and worked in areas including Orkney, Caithness, Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Ayrshire and Moray, I'm connected to a lot of areas across the country and passionate about the stories that matter to the people of Scotland.