A £6 million fund, managed by VisitScotland, is being made available to support inbound tourism and businesses which promote and sell packages to international markets.

VisitScotland said: “Businesses that rely on international visitors for income have been hit particularly hard by the impact of Covid-19, since the crisis began last year. The one-off fund will help provide financial stability over the next four to six months and to help firms prepare for late 2021 business.”

It added that the Scotland inbound tour operators – Covid-19 business support and continuity fund was open to inbound tour operators and destination management companies which manage travel packages.

VisitScotland noted that the funding is part of a wider package of support for tourism and hospitality businesses from the Scottish Government totalling £104.3 million.. The fund will be managed by VisitScotland with input from the Scottish Tourism Alliance, the Scottish Destination Management Association, the Scottish Incoming Golf Tourism Operators Association and UK Inbound.

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However, VisitScotland emphasised applications are welcome from non-members of these groups.

Malcolm Roughead, chief executive of VisitScotland, said: “The Covid-19 pandemic is having a devastating impact on the tourism and events industries and they will need financial support for some time to come to help them recover.

“Ensuring as many businesses as possible survive and can recover is our main priority at present."

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He added: “International visitors are a hugely important part of our visitor economy and therefore it is critical the inbound industry is able to meet the demand when overseas travel can resume.

“As much of our available resources as possible are being dedicated to delivering the funding to businesses as quickly as possible.”