'Clear and present threat' to Scottish golf tourism, First Minister is told in letter

Fears expressed by hoteliers and golf club managers
Royal Dornoch is one of the courses set to be badly hit by a lack of golf tourists this year due to the Covid-19 crisisRoyal Dornoch is one of the courses set to be badly hit by a lack of golf tourists this year due to the Covid-19 crisis
Royal Dornoch is one of the courses set to be badly hit by a lack of golf tourists this year due to the Covid-19 crisis

A group comprising of leading Scottish golf tourism representatives has written to the First Minister calling for the sector to receive urgent support.

In a letter to Nicola Sturgeon, the group says it is "increasingly concerned" about the economic impart of the coronavirus on the Scottish tourism industry.

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It says there is a "clear and present threat" to the sector, both in the short and medium term.

The letter has been signed by a combination of hotel owners and managers and managers and secretaries of some of the clubs that rely heavily on golf tourism.

They say in the letter: "In short, if we are not able to operate profitably by the start of July then many of us will have no choice but to cease trading until next April, with sadly a number of businesses not even able to hold on until then."

Referring to Scottish courses preparing to reopen on Friday, subject to final confirmation from the First Minister tomorrow, the letter adds: "The possible return of golf for members in the next few days is welcome but does little or nothing for tourism – apart from further the growing frustration amongst both players and businesses.

"Golf tourism in Scotland is built on both domestic and international markets. The proposed two-week quarantine period kills the global market dead.

"If imposed, we need a firm date when it will be lifted or told it is here till the end of the season to give our booked clients the chance to cancel thereby freeing space for local and domestic bookings on both the golf courses and in the hotels."

The letter has been sent by Andy Burgess (Meldrum House), David Cockerton (Garleton Lodge), Seamus Coen (Rusacks Hotel), Phil Scott (Links House Hotel, Dornoch) and Malcolm Duck (Ducks Inn).

Also listed as supporting it are Ian Ferguson (Dundonald Links), Ken Goodwin (Ayrshire Golf Scotland), Neil Hampton (Royal Dornoch), Stuart McColm (Castle Stuart), David Roy (Crail) and David Scott (Dumbarnie Links), Gordon Simpson (Gullane) and Colin Sinclair (Nairn).

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