Covid-19 (Impact on Tourism)

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament on 11th March 2020.

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Photo of Fergus Ewing Fergus Ewing Scottish National Party

First, it would be less than courteous of me not to welcome Ms Hamilton to her new responsibilities. I appreciate that she has a lifetime of experience in the field. I welcome her to her role and look forward to working constructively with her.

Turning to the member’s question, I think it important that we postpone concerns about other matters—of which the visitor levy is one—which the Parliament will deal with in due course. With respect, right now we should focus on matters relating to the coronavirus and how we might tackle them. We must also ensure that we are engaging fully with sectors such as the food and drink sector, which Mr MacDonald mentioned, and the retail sector, so that, as a team, we are all able to respond as effectively as possible to minimise and mitigate the consequences for all in Scotland, including the tourism sector.