UKHospitality (UKH) has published its “manifesto” as representatives of the hospitality industry, ahead of the Scottish parliamentary elections in May.
The trade association issued demands for the country’s political parties to help assist the industry’s return after lockdown.
As part of the manifesto, UKH called for a full review of business rates, a marketing programme to promote Scottish tourism and a moratorium on new regulations coming from the Scottish government that will impact the hospitality sector as it returns to form.
Currently, indoor hospitality is set to reopen in Scotland on 26 April for groups of four, and limited to the sale of food and non-alcoholic drinks.
Outdoor hospitality will be allowed to reopen simultaneously, with groups of six from three separate households allowed to meet and alcoholic drinks permitted; albeit with a 10pm curfew.
A broader expansion of the sector’s reopening will take place on 17 May, with alcoholic drink sales allowed indoors with social distancing regulations.
Willie Macleod, UKH Scotland’s executive director, said: “Hospitality is at the heart of daily life for so many Scots. Our businesses are a major driver of economic growth, providing 10% of national employment, and we are at the centre of the social lives of millions.
“The economic and social benefits of the sector are found in every community in every region of the country. We play a pivotal role in ensuring that Scotland’s tourism offering remains one of the world’s best. We also provide job opportunities, training, and the possibility of personal and professional development for many, particularly younger people looking to earn, learn and grow.”
He added: “A robust and fully-supported hospitality sector, given the tools to flourish and grow, should be central to any Scottish Government’s plans, and to rebuilding the economy following the devastation of the pandemic.
“Businesses in every region have known only forced closures or the tightest of restrictions for over a year. Businesses that will be expected to lead the recovery of the Scottish economy will have to do so from a position of immense vulnerability.”