VISITSCOTLAND is calling on the country to rally round the tourism sector, as the industry re-opens amid further Covid-19 restrictions being eased.

The national tourism organisation is urging short breaks, days out and staycations in Scotland as part of the holiday experience post-pandemic.

It is also reminding visitors to the country of the importance of “know before you go”.

VisitScotland’s chief executive, Malcolm Roughead, said: “It is clear that tourism has been one of the greatest economic casualties of the pandemic.

“We’ve had a year of very little investment, job losses and business closures – it will take time and significant investment to get us back to a thriving industry.

“With the right support, tourism and events can lead the economic recovery and boost inward investment where it’s needed most, but to do that the industry needs the support of people living in Scotland in the first instance.

“Many businesses are re-opening after months of no trade, and with staycations set to be popular again this year, there is a real opportunity for us all to rally round and show our support for local tourism.

“I’d urge everyone, when appropriate and in accordance with the guidance, to visit restaurants that you’ve missed, explore visitor attractions, book a night away, take the family on a day out, discover somewhere new and make Scotland your holiday of choice this year.

“Only with this support can we truly start to help tourism bounce back.”

Roughead added that the organisation will be working with businesses to ensure the sector can be re-built in the global recovery efforts.

He said VisitScotland will look to “inspire and inform” visitors on how to respect, protect and enjoy the country, adding: “We really want visitors to ‘know before they go’ when it comes to travel; checking what is open and pre-booking if required.

“By following this advice and all working together, we can help get Scottish tourism back on its feet in a safe and responsible way.

“Tourism is a force for good – creating economic and social value in every corner of Scotland and enhancing the well-being of everyone who experiences it.

“Tourism makes Scotland richer, economically and socially, and without it, Scotland would be a much poorer place.”

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