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John O'Groats hotel owner gives cautious welcome to tourism restart date

By Jean Gunn

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John O'Groats and other destinations may be able to welcome tourists back from July 15.
John O'Groats and other destinations may be able to welcome tourists back from July 15.

A John O'Groats hotel owner has given a cautious welcome to the news that Scotland's tourism businesses can prepare to reopen on July 15.

Seaview Hotel proprietor Andrew Mowat said: "Obviously we are happy because we can trade again. At the same time we have to make sure everything is right – we need to make sure we are protecting our community as well.

"It has got to be done in a way that everyone can remain safe."

His comments came after tourism secretary Fergus Ewing's announcement last week that hotels, pubs and restaurants could start planning for reopening.

Mr Ewing said the July 15 date cannot be definitive and is conditional on public health advice about the virus.

New bookings for the Seaview Hotel have already started to come in for dates in August and September.

Mr Mowat said: "It seems to be that people have more confidence which is good for the business, economy, staff and jobs."

He pointed out that they would need to keep an eye on people visiting John O'Groats and make sure they did not just wander around anywhere they wanted.

Although overseas bookings will be out of the question at the moment, he is confident that people will be encouraged to holiday in the UK.

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