Destinations

Here’s how Scotland is embracing the ‘new normal’

While international travel may be at a standstill, Scottish tourism businesses have kept busy embracing the ‘new normal’ and adapting services for their guests and local communities.

Visit Scotland has compiled a list of updates to keep you in the loop until you can send your clients back to the UK once more.

What’s new in accommodation?

Edinburgh’s luxury floating hotel, Fingal, has reopened, touting its first wellbeing manager to ensure that clients and local diners continued to enjoy a seamless experience onboard the five-star hotel.

As cities across the UK continue to move through varying restrictions, The Balmoral has introduced The Curfew Club, an exclusive series of new in-room, after-10pm experiences to curb your clients’ cravings for the well-loved Edinburgh nightlife.

In response to COVID-19, rural retreat The Fife Arms has implemented a series of changes designed to give guests peace of mind including an expanded team of ghillies, a self-guided outdoors directory and a glorious Highland Picnic.

Keeping it clean 

Scotland’s distilleries were perhaps one of the first industries to make a change in the face of the pandemic when they switched up whisky and gin production to make hand sanitiser back in March.

Their efforts can still be seen today, as their sanitiser can be found in restaurants and bars around the country including from Port of Leith Distillery, Isle of Harris Distillers, Leith Distillery, and Pickering’s Gin.

Pop-up pods

While outdoor dining became the trend of summer 2020, hospitality businesses in Scotland wouldn’t let the notoriously unpredictable Scottish weather prevent their guests from tucking in alfresco.

Dining pods and marquees have been popping up across the country to ensure guests stay warm, dry and feel safe whilst enjoying a meal with loved ones.

Scotland has you covered

While exploring Scotland, it is essential to wear a face-covering in public indoor spaces to keep people safe. Why not make a fashion statement by choosing a covering designed and produced by some of the talented Scottish textile businesses?

Many are offering the latest must-have accessories in a range of fabrics and designs – from Harris Tweed to your family tartan. Prickly Thistle and Totty Rocks are just two examples of many.

Live like a local

Agritourism has gone from strength to strength, with holidaymakers looking to get their hands dirty down on the farm. Guests at Arnprior Farm near Stirling or Newton Farm Holidays in Angus can enjoy the freshest produce, from field to fork, experience farming life first-hand and, during lambing season, even help welcome the new arrivals – all while staying in luxurious, modern accommodation.

Equally in cities, 2021 is the year to discover the local favourites from quirky neighbourhoods like Stockbridge in Edinburgh and Finnieston in Glasgow, to standalone eateries and independently-owned boutiques in Dundee and Inverness.

It is also the year to discover new stories; from the BLM Mural Trail to the Invisible Cities Walking tours, Scotland’s cities are showcasing voices that for too long have gone unheard.

Responsible tourism

If you have a client who actively seeks to make a positive contribution to the environment while on holiday, tell them to consider the range of volunteering opportunities in Scotland.

Trees for Life offer Conservation Weeks, which allow participants to play their part in restoring the ancient Caledonian Forest.

And working holidays with The National Trust for Scotland offer the chance to live and work in some of the most remote places of Scotland, while making a real difference to the country’s natural heritage.


Featured image source: iStock/georgeclerk

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