The tourism body Outer Hebrides Tourism has responded to requests for information support from businesses already feeling the effects of international concern about Coronavirus.

In a statement issued today, chief executive Rob McKinnon said: “There is currently no guidance on limiting travel, all CalMac sailings and Loganair flights to the Outer Hebrides are at present continuing as normal. It is for individual businesses to decide how to respond to cancellation requests.
 
“If a guest develops symptoms whilst staying in your accommodation, the NHS guidelines states for them to call NHS 111 for advice.”

Mr McKinnon also directed tourism businesses to VisitScotland’s Coronavirus (COVID-19) information page at https://www.visitscotland.org/supporting-your-business/advice/coronavirus which signposts health, travel and business advice sources.

He advised that he is to be one of the contributors to a Scottish Tourism Alliance (STA) group, which will monitor developments and look for ways to support businesses through the challenges of the coming months.

The STA itself has published a call for government intervention which paints a bleak picture for tourism in Scotland.

It says: “Forward bookings are down, some by up to 50% …. a significant amount of business and consumer travel is on hold, all of which represents a critical threat to Scotland’s tourism industry.  Our airports are also reporting a huge drop in passenger numbers; our entire tourism sector is moving into an extraordinarily precarious position.”