A trailblazing initiative has been launched in St Andrews to safely welcome tourists back to the popular coastal town.
More than 300 local businesses and local community groups have come together to create the StaySafe St Andrews Charter to give confidence to visitors and local residents as businesses in the town reopen.
The unique whole-town approach will see hospitality, tourism and retail businesses across St Andrews promoting a unified message which will demonstrate the town’s commitment to safe working practices and the latest government guidance.
It will be supported by leaflets, banners and window displays and an ongoing social media campaign working with local businesses and Fife Council to highlight regulations and best business practices and the reemergence and reopening of the many businesses in the town.
Thought to be the first Covid charter in Scotland, it was initiated by volunteer local group Tourism St Andrews who commissioned Dundee-based consultancy Urban Foresight to assist with the idea development.
Funding support came from St Andrews University, the Community Trust and VisitScotland.
Debbie MacCallum, chair of Tourism St Andrews, explained: “By creating a clear and co-ordinated response to the challenges of tourism in a time of Covid-19, St Andrews will be able to protect our local communities while extending our world famous warm welcome to visitors coming to visit our wonderful beaches, shops, open spaces, golf and hospitality.”
As one of Scotland’s top five destinations, tourism accounts for one in five jobs in St Andrews and contributes about £110 million per year to the local economy.
St Andrews Liberal Democrat councillor Jane Ann Liston said: ‘This excellent initiative comes from those who know how tourism in St Andrews actually works on the ground; there is no substitute for the local knowledge of grass-roots businesses.
“Tourism St Andrews has done its homework and we can now say loud and clear ‘Welcome back St Andrews is open for business.”
High profile organisations supporting the charter include University of St Andrews, the Links Trust, the Old Course Hotel, the Fairmont Hotel, Stay in St Andrews, G1 Group, Morrisons and Fisher and Donaldson.
Helen McBride, general manager of the Old Course Hotel, said: “Tourism St Andrews, with its Stay Safe St Andrews charter, clearly demonstrates that if we work together for the good of all, we will come back strongly from the challenges we have all faced from the Covid-19 pandemic.”