Cancelling just one holiday flight from Scotland to Spain could cost the economy as much as £38,000 in lost sales of items such as sunglasses and swimsuits, according to new research.
Most travellers spend up to £250 stocking up and treating themselves to new outfits and beauty treatments before jetting off, a OnePoll survey for the Scottish Passenger Agents’ Association (SPAA) found.
The findings showed the “catastrophic financial impact” the grounding of flights is indirectly having on many sectors, SPAA president Joanne Dooey said.
And the organisation warned that the overall loss of all holiday travel from Scotland to Spain, excluding the Canaries, could be more than £460million.
The SPAA held the latest in a number of protests outside Holyrood recently.
Carried out last week, the survey of 1,000 Scots found that 80% splash out up to £250 on pre-holiday shopping for items including swimwear, toiletries, sunglasses and suitcases.
The average spend is £190.40, with 18% spending between £300 and £700 and 3% forking our from £800 to more than £1,000.
Almost a quarter of women surveyed buy seven or more new pieces of clothing and half treat themselves to between one and five beauty treatments.
Ms Dooey said: “Pre-Covid, Spain was the most popular destination for international flights from Scotland with 2.4 million passenger journeys-a- year.
So, just one full flight (200 passengers) from a Scottish airport to the Balearic islands could put up to £38,000 into Scottish tills. This is income which has been, and continues to be, lost to Scottish businesses.
“Add to this the spend on departure day, when 63% of us buy food, more than half of us buy drinks in the airport; 41% spend in shops; 34% of us buy duty free and almost a third of us take a taxi, then the catastrophic financial impact of the grounding of travel is affecting many sectors which are not directly in the travel industry.”
She continued: “It’s an argument we’ve been trying very hard to make the Scottish Government listen to. Travel matters – and not just to those directly employed in the travel sector.
“Our survey shows that people truly want to be allowed the choice to travel from Scotland. And whilst the addition of some countries to the green watch list from 30 June is welcome, it doesn’t go far enough.
“We want the Scottish Government to show us their data, to trust the vaccine and to make testing more affordable.”
Majority felt safe travelling
The survey also revealed that 96% of Scots who travelled overseas between March 2020 and this month felt ‘very’ or ‘fairly safe’. Just 4% of overseas travellers felt ‘not very safe’.
Since March 2020 only 10% of those surveyed had been overseas, while 36% had cancelled at least one holiday, 28% had postponed and 17% had rebooked.
Ms Dooey added: “Twelve months ago, we never envisaged that we’d have such easy-to-use, rapid and robust testing.
“So why are we not using it in a cost-effective way to stimulate travel and all of the economic benefits which outbound travel brings?”
“And why does it cost more to be tested in Scotland than in England?”