Nearly one in four Scots rule out going on holiday this year

Nearly a quarter of Scots are ruling out going on holiday this year, according to a wide-ranging new opinion poll which reveals that one in three people have been impacted financially by the pandemic.

More than half of those polled for new industry research said they would not consider going on holiday anywhere until much later in the year.

Just 12 per cent of people agreed that they were “desperate to take a holiday and will do so as soon as it is possible.”

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Concerns were raised about the level of uncertainty about going booking holidays and the possible risk of Covid transmission while the vaccination programme is still being rolled out.

Three quarters of Scots polled by the research company 56 Degree Insight said they were unwilling to consider flying off to a holiday destination.

However roughly the same number said they were likely to consider taking a “staycation” break somewhere in Scotland during 2021.

Less than half of Scots said they would consider going on holiday anywhere else in the UK.

The survey was carried out in early March, shortly before First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced an official reopening date for the Scottish tourism industry on 26 April.

Braemar in Royal Deeside. Picture: Damian Shields/VisitScotland

An official report on the research states: “Whilst there is room for some optimism, the latest research demonstrates that there are a number of challenges ahead to ensure staycations can provide the tourism industry with the much needed boost in 2021.

“For almost a quarter, holidays are simply not in their thoughts and a further 27 per cent feel that holidays are something to be considered later rather than now. Just under a quarter will consider a holiday – but only later in the year

“These groups remained concerned about risks of transmission and would like to wait until the vaccine rollout and declining cases reach a level where they feel completely safe.

“There are also some practical considerations playing a key role in how Scots feel about travelling and holidays at the moment. A third have been significantly impacted financially by Covid, which clearly impacts on what they might be able to do, while the thought of flying for a holiday overseas represents a barrier to almost three quarters of Scots this year.”

Perthshire wears the new season crown. Top an afternoon of walking through Allean Forest, just west of Loch Tummel near Pitlochry, with a moment or two at Queens View where nature's beauty comes together so finely. PIC: Visit Scotland.

Malcolm Roughead, chief executive of national tourism agency VisitScotland, said: “The report paints an encouraging picture for the visitor season ahead as restrictions are eased.

“It should be noted that while respondents were surveyed before the announcement by the First Minister on the roadmap out of lockdown, as shown in the results of other surveys, it reveals a continuing appetite for Scots to plan a trip at home this year.

“Indeed, there is a higher interest in Scots staycationing again this year than travelling in the UK or internationally, with almost half saying they plan to explore their own country this year, with coasts and the countryside the top destinations. “Hygiene and cleanliness continue to be a priority for potential holidaymakers, and we are working with the industry to ensure businesses are once again ready to reopen with measures in place through the ‘Good to Go’ scheme.”

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The banks of Loch Ness in the Highlands. Picture: VisitScotland / Kenny Lam

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