New tour operator positions for post-pandemic shift in demand


A NEW Scottish tour operator has begun trading this month, despite the ongoing challenges of the pandemic, in a bid to be ready for the travel industry’s ‘new normal’.

The Tartan Road will initially help visitors from across Scotland and the rest of the UK enjoy all that the country has to offer, expanding to serve international travellers once conditions allow.

The company designs bespoke Scottish holiday packages for discerning clients, and specialises in self-drive tours and city breaks. Founded in May at the height of the global pandemic, The Tartan Road has adapted its business model in response to the challenges and changes in the travel and tourism industry.

Co-Founder and Director Emily Woolard said:

“The pandemic has completely changed the way people travel, forcing those who’d normally head overseas to stay closer to home and shifting demand from large group tours to single-vehicle, single-household arrangements.

Very sadly, businesses have struggled and even gone under as a result of these huge and sudden changes. It’s been a really difficult time for the industry.

People will still want to travel post-COVID, although we think the desire for more control and the tendency to travel in smaller groups are probably going to persist even once there’s a vaccine. Following a sustained period of reluctance to commit, we’re now seeing enquiries for trips right through the end of 2021. Planning wonderful holidays gives our clients something to look forward to once the current restrictions ease.

Scotland has so much to offer as a holiday destination, and if we can collectively hold onto even a fraction of the recent surge in domestic demand once the international market recovers, it will help the industry as a whole to bounce back more quickly. 

As residents of the Highlands, we’re acutely conscious of the effects of over-tourism and unsustainable travel practices. We’ll be encouraging our clients to travel responsibly and selecting providers of accommodation, activities and experiences that fit with this approach. We hope to help spread demand by emphasising the benefits of visiting busier areas outside the peak months, and by promoting less-visited destinations off the beaten track.

We look forward to working with providers across Scotland to build the most incredible packages for our clients.”

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