Shadow Finance Secretary Donald Cameron is backing calls for the Scottish Government to provide clearer guidance to the self-catering sector as businesses struggle to survive the coronavirus pandemic.
Mr Cameron, a Highlands and Islands MSP, has recently submitted a number of questions to the Scottish Government after being contacted by local business owners concerned about the lack of consideration they are receiving from ministers at Holyrood.
Referring to a survey carried out by the Association of Scotland’s Self-Caterers, Mr Cameron said: “It is very worrying that 42% of respondents felt support from the SNP Government has been poor or very poor for self-caterers, and that almost half are feeling pessimistic about their business."
“Almost all those who responded believe that ministers should provide clear and effective messaging in terms of re-opening the tourist sector."
“This confirms local feedback I have received, and more must be done to reassure self-caterers given the wider Highlands and Islands economy is so reliant on a buoyant tourism sector for jobs and income."
“Visitors staying in self-catering accommodation also help sustain shops, cafes, restaurants, and visitor attractions. Indeed, the entire tourism sector contributes £1bn to the regional economy."
“My questions are designed to require Scottish Government ministers to focus on the needs of our tourism sector and reassure businesses that they are not being overlooked.”
Donald Cameron’s questions are:
To ask the Scottish Government whether it has an indicative date for (a) certain types of and (b) all self-catering accommodation to trade again.
To ask the Scottish Government what engagement it has had with the Association of Scotland’s Self-Caterers regarding plans to allow self-catering accommodation businesses to trade again when it is safe to do so.
To ask the Scottish Government what engagement it has had with local authorities regarding plans to allow self-catering accommodation businesses to trade again when it is safe to do so.
To ask the Scottish Government what safety measures and guidance it is putting in place to allow self-catering accommodation businesses to trade again when it is safe to do so.
Responses are expected by 19th June.