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Cairngorms National Park

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Cairngorms Tourism Emergency Group (CTER) – Update 30 March 2020

30th March 2020

The group has been set up to provide a consistent and comprehensive analysis of the implications of Covid-19 for tourism, to coordinate communications with the tourism industry, to ensure close working between key agencies and the private sector, to gather, share, facilitate, interpret and disseminate information and agree on relevant actions and delivery plans.

Membership:  The Group consists of representatives from Cairngorms Business Partnership, VisitAberdeenshire, MoraySpeyside, VisitScotland, Aberdeenshire Council, The Highland Council, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Angus Alive and CNPA (Chair).

Note of meeting on 30 March under the three themes agreed at first meeting:

Stabilize

  • Regular briefing emails – very useful info continues to be circulated by CBP, STA, VA. etc and please register directly with each organisation to receive them. Scottish Enterprise has prepared a useful planning tool with practical tips to help you consider what actions you may want to consider in order to prepare for, and mitigate against, the challenges and disruption being faced. COVID-19 Tourism Checklist and Action Plan
  • Business support systems are being developed as quickly as possible. Remember there is a short delay between political announcements and public agencies getting guidance and developing the systems. Key issues at present are the switching of staff from summer to winter jobs, the restrictions on help to people in self-catering only where it is the primary source of income. Political lobbying is going on for these issues. A reminder that if an organisation gets public support then it may conflict with Furlough arrangements.
    And all accommodation should close unless has permission of the local authority. Some challenges with each local authority having to interpret what is essential work.
  • Travel to the countryside and outdoor access – a lot of work has gone on to get messaging out and get balance right with encouraging healthy local access. Countryside car parks now closed where possible. Enforcement is taking place via police. Overall, the public are now complying with restrictions.
  • Community-led activity ñ lot of work going on at community level to coordinate volunteers, provide phone lines, deliver prescriptions and food etc. Many businesses involved. National Volunteering plan was launched on 30 March https://www.gov.scot/news/national-volunteering-plan-for-coronavirus/ 

Communicate, Inspire and Plan

  • Communicate and Inspire visitors and all parties were using social media and other channels to get information about destination and nature online. Good use made of Make it Yours materials. Cairngorms Nature Big Weekend should take place as virtual events with partners. Agreement that good use should be made of school holidays to keep people engaged.
  • Plan and discussion took place and agreed that planning for the following timeframes was sensible -4 months/ end of March 2021/ next two years. Agreed that CBP and CNPA should work up a short plan for discussion at a future meeting. VisitScotland Survey  was due to be complete on 30 March and analysis would be circulated
  • Cairngorms Visitor survey results – a total of 2265 / 2500 interviews complete and summary to be circulated to key partners. Consultants will be analysing the data over the next month and preparing a draft report by May. Should contain useful info to plan for recovery.

Prepare for Return

Discussion took place about likely scenarios for the lifting of restrictions and likely to be phased return and emphasis placed on domestic markets. Visitors were likely to need reassurance about security, safety, hygiene, etc. VisitAberdeenshire and others noted that emphasis would continue to be placed on outdoor and adventure

Updates from each organisation relevant to Cairngorms National Park

HIE and explained work they are doing to roll out support to third sector and community organisations. Currently identifying anchor organisation at local level to distribute funds e.g. Voluntary Action Badenoch and Strathspey. Beyond HIE the area funds were being distributed via DTAS. Note that Moray area is part of
Grampian Hub at https://www.gcah.org.uk/ but that community funds would be
distributed via HIE Moray

Cairngorm Mountain – visitor facilities now closed and only essential work going on site. Master-planning work would continue with consultation online in April.

CNPA: Covid 19 page is continually updated with links at https://cairngorms.co.uk/working-together/covid-19-coronavirus-update/

Next meeting

Monday 6 April, 1100 to 1200 – 1 hour maximum. Please send anything in particular for agenda to Murray.

Remit of Group

The Group has been set up to provide a consistent and comprehensive analysis of the implications of Covid-19 for tourism, to coordinate communications with the tourism industry, ensure close working between key agencies and the private sector, to gather, share, facilitate, interpret and disseminate information and agree relevant actions and delivery plans.

Membership: The Group consists of representatives from Cairngorms Business Partnership,
VisitAberdeenshire, MoraySpeyside, VisitScotland, Aberdeenshire Council, Highland Council, Highlands
and Islands Enterprise and CNPA (Chair).