Businesses across Scotland are set to benefit from a new £185 million package of targeted Covid-19 support.
The announcement follows discussions with business groups and sees a wide range of sectors benefiting, from taxi drivers and arts venues to travel agents and hospitality.
In addition, there will be additional one-off payments to hospitality businesses in January to help them deal with the traditional post-Christmas dip in demand.
These will be of £2,000 or £3,000, depending on rateable value.
The package was announced by finance secretary, Kate Forbes, who also said she had written to the treasury calling for Scotland to receive its share of rates relief reimbursed by supermarkets “to ensure this is spent on those areas hardest hit as part of Scotland’s recovery from Covid-19”.
The move was welcomed by the industry, which argued it should be extended to include the whole UK.
An ABTA spokessperson said: “We are pleased to hear that the Scottish government has listened to our calls for financial support for the travel industry.
“Scottish travel businesses have been struggling since the start of the pandemic – the restrictions on travel meaning they are unable to generate income, so this news will come as a relief to many ABTA members.
“It is also a really important move in supporting the Scottish economy, recognising that the outbound travel industry contributes £2 billion every year to the economy of Scotland and the role travel will play in the country’s economic recovery.”
The spokesperson added: “While this is great news to travel businesses in Scotland, we know that many of our members across the UK are currently still struggling to access the much-needed funds to keep them afloat.
“We will continue to make the case for travel businesses across all the UK with the appropriate administrations.”