Edinburgh-based Flavours Holidays to roll out activity holidays in Scotland

Edinburgh-based Flavours Holidays is to roll out European activity holidays in Scotland and launch a series of online courses, including languages, cooking, pilates and photography.
Lorne Blyth (back row, second from right) with the Flavours Holidays team. Picture: Alistair Clark.Lorne Blyth (back row, second from right) with the Flavours Holidays team. Picture: Alistair Clark.
Lorne Blyth (back row, second from right) with the Flavours Holidays team. Picture: Alistair Clark.

The company, which specialises in activity holidays in Italy and Spain, was founded 22 years ago by Lorne Blyth, who has opted against furloughing all 12 staff during Covid-19. She decided to keep all staff on full-time to protect their jobs and mental wellbeing – and to help pivot the business during the crisis.

Blyth said that without retaining and protecting her loyal team, as in previous crisis situations, including the financial crash in 2008 and the ash cloud in 2010, the company wouldn’t have been in a position to stay afloat, adapt and expand.

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The newly launched Scottish activity holidays, replicating the European model, includes a pilates, photography and cooking retreat in a 17th-century former customs house in Elie on the Fife coast and an Edinburgh Festive Fling break in stately Georgian manor Drylaw House.

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Blyth said: “In any crisis situation it is important to be able to look at the wider picture and how the business can adapt, which is difficult to do if you don’t have a team on board. Despite being in one of the industries hardest-hit, I knew we would survive in the way we’ve done before if we all rallied round, which is why I made the decision very early on not to furlough anyone.

“Some of the pivoting ideas have been incredible from the team, who are very loyal and passionate about their jobs, which has resulted in us being a really strong position when the industry picks up again.

“It has also meant we’ve been able to focus on really looking after our suppliers and customers who have all taken the decision not to cancel holidays but instead postpone, either until later in the year or next year, and also carry out daily focus groups.”

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