The latest coronavirus restrictions are ‘extremely damaging’ for the Scottish travel industry, according to the trade body for travel agents.
It comes after Nicola Sturgeon urged Scottish families to not book holidays abroad during the October school holidays.
Speaking of the upcoming school holidays, she said: “Please think of the October break as an opportunity to further limit social interaction.
“And, given that this is a global pandemic, please do not book travel overseas for the October break if it is not essential.”
Mike Tibbert, vice president of the Scottish Passenger Agents Association, said those comments could be ‘the final nail in the coffin’ for the Scottish travel industry.
He said: “The First Minister’s comments in the Scottish Parliament today telling Scots not to book travel overseas for the October break if it is not essential were unnecessary, wholly gratuitous, and extremely damaging for the Scottish travel industry.
“This year has been catastrophic for travel agents and the entire travel sector and today’s comments could well be the final nail in its coffin.
“It’s utterly short-sighted to consider that this story ends with our members having had no 2020 income, but the stark facts are that, without immediate and targeted stimulus for the travel sector, Scotland will lose its global connectivity as airlines cut routes.
“It’s no idle warning. It is probable that loss of connections would cause irreversible long-term damage to our whole economy.”
A spokeswoman for regional airline Loganair, which operates flights to and from the city, said it would offer customers increased flexibility on the back of the First Minister’s announcement.
She said: “The announcement from the Scottish Government has not placed any restrictions on domestic travel, however, we remain cautious that customers booking trips for business and leisure across the UK are looking for flexibility more than ever before.
“To that end, customers who have made, or will make, a booking with Loganair up to and including September 27 2020 will receive one free date change per booking.
“For any bookings made on or after the 28th of September 2020, Loganair will be reducing the usual date change fee by 50%.”