Hotel owners and visitor attractions in Scotland are being encouraged to sign up to a new £1.4million scheme that will offer low income families a subsidised two-night break.
The National Tourism Organisation’s ScotSpirit Holiday Voucher Scheme also aims to help tourism businesses recover from the pandemic and is being fully funded by the Scottish Government.
Participating businesses will be paid for any booking made directly through the scheme including B&Bs, hotels, hostels, camping parks and visitor attractions.
Funding for overnight breaks is capped at £400 for a two or three night stay, but a higher capped amount of £500 is available to eligible families or carers who have children of school age who plan to take a two or three night stay during school holiday periods.
Funding for day visits is capped at £200 for day tickets or passes both during the peak and off-peak season. The scheme is also open to unpaid carers and ‘disadvantaged young people’.
The government says working in partnership with the charities, Family Holiday Association and Shared Care Scotland will ensure vouchers are distributed to people in the greatest need of benefits to their mental health and well-being.
They will be distributed through an application process which will start once there are a sufficient number of businesses signed-up to participate.
Details of the application process will be announced at a later date.
Malcolm Roughead, Chief Executive of VisitScotland, 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 Minister Ivan McKee added: “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.”
The scheme is part of the £25 million tourism recovery programme announced by the First Minister in March 2021.
Accommodation providers, and attractions that are interested in being part of the scheme should visit: www.visitscotland.org/about-us/what-we-do/working-in-partnership/scotspirit-voucher-scheme