Tourism St Andrews, a local volunteer group introduced the charter together with local businesses and community groups in response to the economic and social repercussions of the coronavirus pandemic. It is believed to be the first COVID-19 charter in Scotland.
The hospitality and tourism sectors account for one in five jobs in St Andrews, contributing roughly £110 million per year to the local economy. They have been closed since late March.
With businesses set to begin reopening on Monday 29 June 2020 as part of Phase 3 of Scotland’s Route Map Lockdown, the StaySafe St Andrews initiative has taken a distinctive whole-town approach.
It will unite over 300 local businesses and the St Andrews community to ensure the town is a safe and secure place to work, live, and visit amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
The initiative will see tourism, hospitality, and retail businesses promoting a unified message through their 5-C strategy (Clean, Considerate, Cautious, Clear Communications, and Community Minded), aiming to demonstrate the town’s commitment to safe working practices and the latest government guidance.
StaySafe St Andrews is also working alongside Fife Council and businesses in the town to provide leaflets, banners, and window displays. The strategy will also be supported by a social media campaign that will be used to provide confidence and reassurance to both visitors and residents by highlighting government regulations and safe business practices.
The charter has gained a large volume of support. High-profile organisations committed to upholding its principles include The University of St Andrews, the Links Trust, the Old Course Hotel, Morrisons, and Fisher and Donaldson.
The chair of Tourism St Andrews, Debbie MacCallum, said, “By creating a clear and coordinated 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.”
Speaking of the charter, General Manager of the Old Course Hotel Resort and Spa, Helen McBride, said, “We are proud to be part of such an innovative partnership, supported by local businesses and driven by volunteers, which supports all aspects of tourism in this most iconic of all destinations in Scotland.”
She continued, “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”.
More information on the StaySafe St Andrews Charter, the businesses supporting this initiative, and updates on safe working practices and regulations can be found at https://tourismstandrews.co.uk