NOT everyone across the Scottish tourism and hospitality sectors is feeling confident as the country further eases restrictions and starts to reopen for business.

The move into level two for most of Scotland is welcome and much anticipated, but it will be an apprehensive reunion on Monday, and it looks as though some areas are likely to see a more swift return to profitable business than others.

Others in Glasgow and Moray also face a longer wait for restrictions to ease after infections spikes.

Along with cinemas, theatres, and concert and bingo halls, all holiday accommodation – hotels, self-catering accommodation and campsites – is back, and, with the recent opening also of shops, it is as exciting a prospect as we’ve had for some time.

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There has been scepticism over the Boris Johnson Cabinet’s touting of staycations as an economic way out of the pandemic since the first series of holiday gaffes from last year including the PM’s cringeworthy Scottish holiday.

Thereafter the staycation boom north of the Border didn’t really get the chance to reach the giddy heights anticipated and enjoyed by the Prime Minister.

READ MORE: In pictures: Boris Johnson holidaying in Scotland

Concerns have been raised within the tourism industry this year.

Hotels, pubs, restaurants, and cafes have said they are still grinding through at levels seriously below the norm for this stage of the season. A Scottish Tourism Alliance survey found those forecasting occupancy of under 50 per cent in June is 98%, reducing only to 87% for July.

The STA said it doesn’t look like a boom to the operators in Deputy Business Editor Scott Wright’s widely followed-up exclusive.

HeraldScotland: It is hoped the easing of restrictions will boost staycation revenue. Isle of Skye. Getty ImagesIt is hoped the easing of restrictions will boost staycation revenue. Isle of Skye. Getty Images

However, signs of a more positive pick-up are emerging from Tripadvisor-owned bookings company TheFork, previously called Bookatable, who told The Herald there is 342% growth in pub and restaurant bookings in Scotland for next week compared to the week starting April 26.

Provisional HMRC figures highlighted by the Federation of Small Business in Scotland this week show there were 4.2 million on furlough in the UK at the end of March, and numbers in food and accommodation services were at more than one million, Business Editor Ian McConnell writes in his Called to Account column.

HeraldScotland: Total employments on furlough by industry (millions) (largest 15 sectors), 23 March 2020 to 31 March 2021Total employments on furlough by industry (millions) (largest 15 sectors), 23 March 2020 to 31 March 2021

However, there is concern over what will happen across a number of sectors, and “it would be naïve to think reopening will be enough in itself to ward off impending woe as Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s planned ending of the coronavirus job retention scheme in September looms”.

In his Thursday column, Business Correspondent asks could hopes of a Shetland oil boom revive?

He wonders if key industry leaders could be playing the long game in West of Shetland as “some giants have made clear they still see potential in the area”.

Scotland could be building itself out of climate catastrophe as well as the pandemic as Heriot-Watt University spin-out based around the work of Professor Gabriela Medero ups production of its eco-friendly bricks to more than two million per year after securing £1 million of funding from Zero Waste Scotland, Business Correspondent Kristy Dorsey reveals.

Kenoteq, also readying to reveal details of its first round of seed funding soon, expects to begin commercial sales of its K-Briq next year following scale-up of its production line at Hamilton Waste & Recycling in Musselburgh.

K-Briq is the first in a series of circular economy products the company plans to bring to market in the next few years.