Rural Areas & Tourism

Whilst tourism is very imporrtant to the Scottish economy, in many rural areas tourists & visitors can very easily outnumber local populations. The opening up of the economy must not be put ahead of people. What may work for hotels & pubs in towns & cities may not work for hotels & pubs in small rural villages. Holiday homes need to be included in this thinking.

Why the contribution is important

Generally small rural populations have managed to keep their heads down, a sudden influx of people, visitors & tourists would risk spreading the virus into an area that was previously nearly clear. Generally small rural places have an older age profile, who are more vulnerable to the virus. These rural areas also have less access to large retail (online has virtually disappeared) & services & rely on local shops and local servcies which are easily swamped by visitors & tourists.

by Placemgt on May 05, 2020 at 02:13PM

Current Rating

Average rating: 2.9
Based on: 22 votes


  • Posted by Sue24 May 05, 2020 at 14:18

    At the same time the rural economy depends on tourists and incomers. A lot of people in Scotland are loosing money and not getting government handouts. Many belong to tourist organisations. These bodies should discuss with their members a strategise and safe approach to coming out of lockdown, not be dictated to by the Scottish government
  • Posted by Barbaram May 05, 2020 at 14:42

    Tourism adds a lot to local economies in Scotland. May be worth considering localised solutions to this issue
  • Posted by sl806e May 05, 2020 at 15:04

    A pensioner living the quiet life in a rural area would probably agree however the majority of the working age population understand the need for the return of tourism. It pays for the food on their table and pays the mortgage.
  • Posted by Mark7 May 05, 2020 at 15:15

    Wild camping touring in Scotland. Low number of travelers per group. Spending money but remaining isolated in the community keeping socially distant.
  • Posted by Loganberry May 05, 2020 at 15:52

    I couldn’t agree more with the person who has posted this idea. The thought of a sudden influx of visitors and tourists to our small Highland towns is very frightening.
  • Posted by trixie May 05, 2020 at 16:17

    I agree with the person who posted. We don’t want an influx of potential spreaders to the area. There’s time enough for holidays when the R is much reduced. Not right now.
  • Posted by PB0307 May 05, 2020 at 17:32

    I couldn't agree more with this also. We live in a small town in the Scottish Borders and this weekwe have seen more cars, and even caravans on the road through our town. Not only that, but there seems to be an influx of people from other towns and cities driving here to exercise in our parks and nature reserve, and potentially bringing the virus with them. The Scottish Borders has an elderly population, and the police presence here is minimal to non-existent. People have been flouting lockdown for weeks and going to the nature reserve in our town (Duns) in groups. An influx of people from elsewhere in the country, either for exercise or tourism, isn't what we need right now.
  • Posted by PeterMoss May 05, 2020 at 20:57

    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 Jeannie May 05, 2020 at 23:42

    Totally agree we must keep our rural populations safe and allowing thousands of tourists in would be a death sentence to them .
  • Posted by CharlottePlayfair May 06, 2020 at 10:03

    I live in the Scottish Borders and I agree with this statement, I am in a high risk category and already have lost walkers turning up in my garden from my local village 3 miles away, I can;t imagine how much worse this would be if there were lots more visitors to this 'quiet' place. There needs to be careful management of allowing people into more rural areas, to protect the rural populations, and those that live and work there. there is also quite an assumption that the rules would be followed but the law if unintended consequences applies here, we already have people turning up in cars for picnics etc and this will only create heavier footfall with people not exercising and following restrictions if the rules are not explicit enough
  • Posted by Jay32 May 10, 2020 at 17:28

    Fully agree with this statement
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