Holiday parks across Scotland have joined forces to agree on a strict set of safety and hygiene protocols ahead of their potential reopening.
Managers from 19 parks, representing four operators – Parkdean Resorts, Bridge Leisure Parks, Haven, and Verdant Leisure – are writing to MPs and MSPs explaining that holiday parks are ready to reopen on or before July 4 with a set of stringent safety and hygiene measures in place.
Their letter also highlights the economic risks of a delayed reopening for the Scottish economy which relies heavily on tourism.
Businesses in the tourism sector have been told by the Scottish Government to prepare for reopening from July 15.
Ros Pritchard, director general of the British Holiday and Home Parks Association, said: “Preparations are well underway for the reopening of our parks and achieving ‘Covid-19 Secure’ status.
“From new social distancing signage and deep cleaning protocols, to hand sanitiser and increased ventilation, everything that can be done outside will be done outside this summer.”Ros Pritchard, director general of the British Holiday and Home Parks Association
“From new social distancing signage and deep cleaning protocols, to hand sanitiser and increased ventilation, everything that can be done outside will be done outside this summer,” she added.
The summer is a crucial time for holiday parks and local economies that rely on tourism to survive.
In Scotland, holiday parks employ 1618 people, and tourism contributes £6bn to the Scottish economy and employs 207,000 people, around one in 12 jobs.
Steve Double MP, chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Hospitality and Tourism, said: “Particularly in these difficult times, it is important to acknowledge the role played by tourism in the UK, so while going through lockdown, and crucially as we seek to emerge from it, we must provide the support the sector needs to bounce back as quickly as possible.”
With each holiday park providing the customer base for numerous other businesses, including local suppliers, shops, pubs, restaurants, cafes and visitor attractions, the letter to local politicians warns that if parks are not operational this summer, many businesses dependent on holidaymakers will fail.
It also warns the economic and social impact will be directly felt in areas that are already under economic pressure.