Open rural holiday accommodation for families / groups living together

There seems to be very little discussion about the way forward for accommodation providers - a big source of income for Scotland.

Re-opening serviced accommodation whilst practising social distancing will be more complicated, but rural holiday accommodation does not need to be. Allowing accommodation to re-open to initially accommodate only couples / families / those living together who therefore do not need to practice social distancing from each other would seem an obvious place to start. A set of rules to apply to cleaning of holiday let properties at changeover would also help. It would even be feasible to ask guest to bring all of their food supplies with them for there holiday so that they don't even need to visit local shops.

Many travellers to the Highlands are not here for the restaurants and social life, but to enjoy the outdoors. So if high risk businesses like restaurants and bars are still closed, or enforcing social distancing, the risk from such tourism is minimal.

Why the contribution is important

Tourism is a vital source of income for many parts of Scotland

by yebaws on May 05, 2020 at 11:00PM

Current Rating

Average rating: 2.8
Based on: 62 votes


  • Posted by Jeannie May 05, 2020 at 23:12

    Minimal risk ? Not for the people who live rurally. There is no way hundreds of tourists wandering about in our villages would bring minimal risk . Mad idea
  • Posted by Ayrshire92 May 05, 2020 at 23:21

    In principle yes but first of all the local community must be comfortable with the idea of 'outsiders' coming back. As an owner of holiday accommodation in the Highlands I am losing income BUT I would rather do that than alienate the local population for the future by allowing guests to stay in my accommodation before it is considered safe to do so.
    With regards to bringing their own provisions, I think that when the time is right, visitors should be encouraged to buy locally to invigorate the local economy.
  • Posted by Katz May 05, 2020 at 23:23

    Totally disagree with this idea. This moves the virus from other areas into rural areas with limited medical services and high numbers of vulnerable elderly. Having a wee holiday in the Highlands or wherever is the LAST thing that should happen.
    Surely holidays should be way down the priority list?
  • Posted by Mags00 May 05, 2020 at 23:28

    I think this could overwhelm rural NHS in addition rural areas often have a higher proportion of older people
  • Posted by Alimac35 May 05, 2020 at 23:49

    Agree, we need everyone to stay as local as possible for foreseeable future.
  • Posted by FraochL May 05, 2020 at 23:57

    I live rurally and have seen adult offspring who’ve lived away for years brought back into the fold whilst key workers with different accents are shunned. This isn’t something you only get from strangers, or only get in a city. It exists on the isles and wee toons too . It can be picked up here, where folk are less observant of the rules as we feel safer, and taken home by tourists/workers or to the cities by us if we shop/work/visit there. This shouldn’t be about toon v country but if infection rates are similar and if appropriate measures are in place.
  • Posted by Lyzzy33 May 06, 2020 at 00:02

    No rural holidays should be permitted until risk is minimal
  • Posted by Imfifer May 06, 2020 at 00:05

    No I think that is taking it to far, with the best will in the world and all the best rules it always drops to the lowest level people do what they want despite the rules. Stay within your own area until this I’d definitely all over.
  • Posted by jb088 May 06, 2020 at 00:16

    Travel restrictions should be relaxed gradually to ensure spread between communities is kept to a minimum. Holiday Acomodation could be released to the private rental market for permanent residents as a stop gap until tourism is considered safe.
  • Posted by Jcampbell45 May 06, 2020 at 00:19

    Tourism has been stripping the rural economy for years. It hides the reality of rural living behind the comforts of illusion and warm towels
  • Posted by mrsb May 06, 2020 at 01:12

    encouraging people to the Highlands is a bad idea while the situation is still so fragile, all it needs is one serious outbreak here and Inverness ICU would be swamped. Tourisim in my opinion should only be encouraged when there is a clear view that cases have fallen in the whole of the UK for a sustained period of time.
  • Posted by Kirklistonjohn May 06, 2020 at 01:19

    Open camping where groups are 2 or less , or max 5 if all from same household .
    Social distancing should be possible on campus sites
  • Posted by margarett May 06, 2020 at 01:23

    Not a good idea, will just encourage people to go further afield, rural communities would no longer be rural
  • Posted by Stephaniekeachie May 06, 2020 at 07:14

    We have a holiday cottage business (3 cottages) which are let out 42 weeks a year we do t do short breaks and most guests are here to go fishing which they walk to from the cottage. Guests bring their own linen. We clean the cottages after they leave at 10 and new guests arrive at the end of the day. We need to get tourism back up and running many areas depend on it for jobs . The government furlough scheme isn’t going to last forever and that could see a movement of people away from rural areas looking for work. I stay in a rural area. Guests should be able to answe a health questionnaire and if they don’t feel well they don’t travel if they become unwell while in the holiday cottage they tell us and they go home. Advising holiday lets to change to long term rents isn’t sustainable due to the letting changes it makes it difficult for landlords to remove tennants so far from ideal to be able to start a business up again. I think visitors should be from U.K. areas only
  • Posted by jim19mcd50 May 06, 2020 at 07:59

    Restricted to persons with second homes/caravans etc. We should be able to police our behaviour as if we were at our place of full time residence . We can live without bars & restaurants till restrictions are relaxed.
  • Posted by MargaretR19 May 06, 2020 at 08:05

    Disagree also especially now. Maybe in the future self contained properties can open as a first step
  • Posted by YMCA May 06, 2020 at 08:09

    If people followed rules this could be possible. Surely infection rates are dropping that’s why we are looking at easing lockdown?
  • Posted by JingsCrivens May 06, 2020 at 08:10

    Bad idea because the tourists would be ostracised. This is already happening in wee toons that believe they are immune, despite virus deaths among the locals. The income for tourism is desperately needed or the wee toons will themselves die but that seems to be the future they would choose.
  • Posted by Jeanie May 06, 2020 at 09:17

    This is about treating people as 'grown ups'. Rural Scotland has lots of isolated or low density holiday accommodation.

    As the pandemic has progressed we see clearly that SARS CoV 2 is not indiscriminate. Healthy households in their 20's-50's, perhaps with children, are very low risk and unlikely to place any demand on local health services. As long as social distancing measures are practiced there is little to no transmission risk either.

    Accommodation providers would need to leave gaps between bookings to have time for disinfecting door handles etc. After a few days the virus starts to disintegrate, so even just a basic turnaround and leave the house/cabin empty for a week between bookings would be safe.

    I would go further and say that young healthy households who need to self isolate are welcome to stay in rural Scotland for a fortnight.
  • Posted by DarrenRedfern May 06, 2020 at 13:54

    I agree totally. Static Caravans, touring vans and motorhomes have to keep far apart due to current fire regulations there would be little need additional measures for social distancing. Most modern units have their own toilets and showers, and therefore there would be little need to use any shared facilities. Indeed this type of holiday would be far safer than any other type of accommodation as everyone would be in their own box and using their own facilities.

    Perhaps to begin with allowing people living in the highlands to travel and holiday within the highlands might be an idea.
  • Posted by Ashley May 06, 2020 at 19:16

    this would add unnecessary pressure to rural health services which tend to be smaller and would not have capacity to deal with increase in potentially unwell population. Added risk of being out with own GP practice radius as well
  • Posted by NKTC May 07, 2020 at 12:02

    Not a good idea - unless strictly restricted to folk staying within their own local area. Otherwise it will involve people travelling and spreading whatever they carry with them into another area, increasing transmission (as the people will go out and about touching things, need to go shopping, get fuel for their vehicle, etc), putting a burden on the health service and infecting other people who are trying hard to stay safe. Rural and remote areas have done well to minimise covid-19 cases by carefully following stay at home advice - they should not be subject to increased risk of illness and death for economic reasons.
  • Posted by gavmac May 07, 2020 at 13:41

    The contriibution is important because "Tourism is a vital source of income for many parts of Scotland" but there would be no income, except for the owner of the property. If the guests are bringing all their own supplies, all they will bring to the community is the possibility of infection. Not time for this yet.
  • Posted by PeterMoss May 08, 2020 at 13:04

    The "Framework for Decision Making" primary principle is "to ensure that transmission of the virus remains suppressed " and uses in its examples data based on the numbers of people in Scotland who have been infected with COVID-19, the number of deaths and the R value. It does not take into consideration the effect of the enormous number of visitors that would flock to Scotland from the remainder of the UK if tourism was 'opened' for business. As an example of numbers, 1.69 million domestic overnight visitors came to the Highlands in 2018. Imagine the case, say in two months time, if tourism was allowed again; with overseas holidays out of the question the numbers of visitors may be even higher. This with no control over who has been in contact with anyone infected with COVID-19. Therefore I believe that tourism into Scotland must be very low on the government's list of priorities. However, most importantly, the government must recognise the long-term financial support that accommodation providers, visitor attractions and other small businesses who rely on tourism will need to survive in order to be ready on the starting blocks for when we do return to our 'New Normal'. Without support, there will be little welcome available to the masses of tourists heading North.
  • Posted by wildone May 08, 2020 at 16:02

    Totally disagree. Tourism providers should be looking forward to how they might change their operations for 2021 but forget about this year altogether.
  • Posted by Lanaiya May 09, 2020 at 16:39

    No, absolutely not. Visitors to an area will result in them entering local shops, putting the community at risk. What if a visitor to a rural holiday accommodation is carrying COVID, they go into the village shop and the whole village gets infected. Many rural villages have a high percentage of older people in their population. The local NHS could not cope and locals would die. All so a family can get a holiday?? Not worth the risk.
  • Posted by kpm321 May 10, 2020 at 17:26

    I agree. Low infection risk as people travel as a family unit and need little contact with locals. Food shops should be implementing social distancing anyway.
  • Posted by annecampbell May 10, 2020 at 21:57

    No - we will suffer a spike in cases if we allow this madness
  • Posted by Cathol May 11, 2020 at 17:32

    Agree, ensure guidelines are followed. Social distancing.

    Those using the property and those renting should do their own risk assessment.

    Its easy for those this doesnt affect to say no but we have to start the country again.

    This virus will have to be lived with for some time to come, even if/when a vaccine is produced it may not offer lasting protection (annual requirement like the flu Vaccine).
    Their will also be such a demand that even vaccinating those most at risk will take time. The majority of us will just have to get on with it.

    Therefore we should be starting now, the more people who have some immunity the lower the transmission rate will be.
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