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The tourism industry in Fife, worth £599 million annually, has been significantly impacted by coronavirus. The region is not alone and recovery will be a challenge! Businesses will need help and support to restart their operations in the coming weeks, against a potential backdrop of more people seeking day trips and overnight stays rather than week-long breaks and long weekends.

There are a range of measures in place to support the tourism industry, including a new Scottish Recovery Tourism Taskforce, which will help with ‘resetting’ the sector to address the ‘new normal’ as tourism businesses gear up in anticipation of opening (in the coming weeks), with appropriate safety guidelines in place. The taskforce will look at the sector’s recovery needs as well as actions taken by the UK Government, and plan to support a new domestic marketing campaign.

The Bed & Breakfast Hardship Fund, designed to support small serviced accommodation providers, that have not been able to access support through other government schemes because of their banking status, is also available.

And, VisitScotland has provided grants to destination management organisations and sector groups. In Fife, the funding is going to: Fife Golf Partnership; Food from Fife; Stay in St Andrews; Tourism St Andrews; Visit East Neuk; and Cruise Forth; and it is anticipated to help build a strong, safe and sustainable recovery.

Lorraine Garvie, Vice Chair of Tourism St Andrews, said:

“Tourism in St Andrews alone accounts for one in five tourism related jobs in Fife, in addition to a third of all tourism revenue for the region. That funding will go towards a ‘Stay Safe St Andrews’ initiative being launched by Tourism St Andrews, which enables us to work with local businesses and the local community to begin to address the challenges facing everyone as lockdown restrictions are lifted. It is essential that all visitors, students and residents alike feel that the town is being supported in its quest to be as clean and safe as possible.”

Martha Bryce of Food from Fife also welcomed the funding. She commented:

“This grant is very welcome and allows us to continue to operate – working to promote food tourism and the food and drink industry while we all look towards recovery!”

And, let’s not forget the small steps already being taken to get the region ‘open’ once more! As we await the easing of restrictions, we can enjoy Fife’s wonderful coastline and parks, whilst golf courses are welcoming their members once again.

Yes, there is a massive mountain to climb to get the tourism sector back in business in the coming weeks, but there is support, guidance and advice available from The Scottish Government, Fife Council and Business Gateway Fife.

Find out more about Fife from our newsletter fbm Update.

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