Inbound travel association UKinbound has hit out at the UK government over its failure to provide financial support and urged it to “engage directly” with the sector after VisitScotland unveiled details of a £104-million package in Scotland.

Visit Scotland announced today it will be administering nine new funds for the tourism and hospitality industry as part of the Scottish government’s £104.3 million package for tourism and hospitality businesses.

The funding was announced at the end of last year.

One of the cash streams is for inbound tour operators – the Scotland Inbound Tour Operators Covid-19 Business Support and Continuity Fund.

UKinbound chief executive Joss Croft welcomed the funding as “a lifeline” for Scottish tour operators and destination management companies (DMCs) and said: “We applaud the Scottish government for recognising how important these businesses are to Scotland’s economic recovery and taking steps to ensure they remain viable for the future.”

Croft noted: “This fund was created as a direct result of the Inbound Tourism Resilience Fund proposal presented to the Scottish government by the Scottish Tourism Alliance, Scottish Destination Management Association, Scottish Incoming Golf Tour Operators Association and UKinbound in October 2020.

“In stark contrast, the UK Government, which was also presented with the proposal, has yet to revert.”

He said: “We implore the Treasury not only to consider our proposal but to engage with us directly.

“The government talks about the importance of levelling up and its desire to create a Global Britain, but it’s failing to support the very businesses able to deliver growth to regional economics and promote Britain globally.”

Visit Scotland confirmed the funding “will help tourism and events businesses in key sectors who have received little or no support so far”.

The organisation revealed: “We will be administering nine of the Scottish Government funds and will move our focus from marketing to funding and support for the next three months to ensure that desperately needed help is delivered quickly.”

It noted: “We have moved more than 100 staff from other tasks to get these funding streams organised and process them as quickly as possible.”

VisitScotland director of industry and destination development Riddell Graham said: “All of the funding packages are being delivered with input from the tourism industry and sector groups to ensure we get the right support to the right people.”

Details on how to apply will be published on VisitScotland.org “in due course”. The aim is to have all the funds launched by mid-February. Businesses which have already received Covid-related funding will be able to apply.

The funds and likely timings of delivery are:

The Scotland Inbound Tour Operators – Covid-19 Business Support and Continuity Fund (open to expressions of interest from January 22)

The Pivotal Event Businesses Fund (already live)

The Sector Destination Operational & Market Readiness Fund (already live)

The Outdoor Fund, which has two strands: Marine Tourism and Outdoor Tourism (last week of January)

The Event Industry Support Fund (late January/early February)

The Coach Operators Fund (first week of February)

The Visitor attractions Fund (week commencing February 8)

The Hostels Fund (week commencing February 15).