Marc Crothall, Chief Executive of the Scottish Tourism Alliance said:
“Yesterday’s announcement that the UK’s rate of inflation jumped to 10.1% in July will have a significant effect not only on Scotland’s tourism industry’s ability to recover from the severe economic impact of the last two years; it will almost certainly see the closure of many businesses who are struggling to trade in this spiral of challenging conditions. Many are reporting they are on a knife edge with everything heading in the wrong direction; all costs are rising plus domestic and consumer spending and future booking indicators all in slowdown and decline
Business groups in Scotland said only last week that the Scottish Government must do more to ease the cost-of-living crisis, amid warnings that one in six small firms could close due to soaring energy bills.
We are now looking at what will be the worst economic conditions in more than four decades and both the Scottish and UK Governments must now respond with meaningful relief and support for business to avoid a scenario which will be much worse than the impact of Covid, certainly for tourism and hospitality.
The lowering of VAT rates, a freeze on the energy price cap and the introduction of a price cap for businesses plus extended relief on business rates are just some of the measures we would urge governments to implement and do so immediately before we see a wave of business closures and job losses.
We as a nation must be able to stay competitive and that means businesses in the front line and the vital supply chain must be given a much greater degree of security and assurance around costs to allow them to adapt and flex with greater assurance of their cost base.
Our businesses must be able to continue to invest in their people and product and importantly, be able to provide reassurances and certainty to future contracting suppliers and visitors wanting to travel.”