ScotSpirit Holiday Voucher Scheme aims to boost tourism recovery

VisitScotland is encouraging tourism businesses including visitor attractions to sign up to a new voucher scheme to help low-income families, unpaid carers and disadvantaged young people affected adversely by the pandemic to enjoy a subsidised two-night break in Scotland.

The national tourism organisation’s ScotSpirit Holiday Voucher Scheme, administered on behalf of The Scottish Government, will support tourism businesses to recover from the impact of the pandemic by stimulating demand for off-peak domestic breaks and day visits.

The initiative is part of the £25 million tourism recovery programme announced by the First Minister in March 2021. Developed by VisitScotland, the programme proposals were approved by the Scottish Tourism Emergency Response Group (STERG) in collaboration with Tourism Task Force members – including ASVA CEO Gordon Morrison.

The ScotSpirit Holiday Voucher Scheme is fully funded by The Scottish Government, and participating businesses will be paid for any booking made directly through the scheme by a method of their choosing. Visitor attractions across Scotland, plus hotels, guest houses, B & Bs, hostels and camping parks can be part of the scheme.

ASVA members interested in participating in the ScotSpirit Holiday Voucher Scheme should visit:

Working in partnership with several leading charities, the Family Holiday Association and Shared Care Scotland will ensure the vouchers are distributed to people in greatest need of benefit for their mental health and well-being. Vouchers will be allocated following an application process which will start once a sufficient number of businesses have signed up to participate. (Details of the application process will be announced at a later date.)

VisitScotland Chief Executive Malcolm Roughead said: “We’re encouraging as many tourism businesses as possible to be part of the ScotSpirit Holiday Voucher Scheme. Not only will you generate income for your business but you will also provide long-lasting memories for people who don’t often get to experience a holiday. Tourism is a force for good – creating economic and social value in every corner of Scotland and enhancing the well-being of everyone who experiences it. Tourism makes Scotland richer, economically and socially, and without it Scotland would be a much poorer place.”

Tourism Minister Ivan McKee MSP said:“After more than a year of the pandemic, a holiday from the stresses of daily life is something we all look forward to. We pledged to deliver a holiday voucher scheme in the first 100 days of this government and we are delivering. The £1.4 million ScotSpirit Holiday Voucher Scheme will support many families and unpaid carers who might not have been able to take a break, to take some time out and explore Scotland. I would encourage all tourism businesses to get involved with the scheme – not only will you be providing a welcome break for those who need it, but you’ll also generate income for your business and stimulate demand during the quieter winter months.”