- Published: Tuesday, 19 May 2020 08:49
- Written by 3x1
The effects of COVID-19 are being felt across the world in waves, placing extraordinary demands on health care services, government, businesses, ultimately changing the way every organisation operates. Now in week eight of lockdown in the UK, the recovery time for the tourism industry remains uncertain. While no country appears to have a clear exit strategy, as the situation continues to evolve, it brings with it a new range of developments and perspectives, and an understanding that collaboration has never been more key.
As a venue which has operated for over 230 years, Assembly Rooms Edinburgh has withstood many obstacles – even remaining open during the First World War, becoming a Central Red Cross Depot, where volunteers and staff collected aid for the frontline (you can find out more about the rich history in our new Heritage Shorts series LINK). And ever since, it has continued to evolve with the times, with major extensions, renovations and technological advances, all the while maintaining its impressive Georgian grandeur and first-class hospitality. While the venue has long stood the test of time, in our lifetime, times have never been so testing for the industry. But through this difficult period, we ARe…
We’re proud of our team for their resilience and commitment during these uncertain times. We’re also grateful for our event bookers, promoters, customers and suppliers ongoing support and patience as we work to reschedule forthcoming events.
We will continue to monitor the situation during the period of closure and when we have more details we will share alerts and updates on the website and on our social channels.
While our core team continue to work from home, a few members of the cultural venues team have volunteered to support other business critical areas in need, as well as spending their spare time carrying out good deeds and getting involved in nationwide initiatives. Some have taken on the 5k challenge to raise money for the NHS, while others have been delivering essentials to schools and vulnerable people around the city. Our suppliers have been getting involved too, with Stephanie, the Deputy MD at Hickory, cooking up a storm to supply meals to those in need in the local community.
Whether you’re donating your time or money to charity, or supporting your community or a local business, we’re stronger when we work together.
We understand it can be difficult working from home, with many of our team currently dealing with different factors and varying circumstances – from home schooling to Wi-Fi connection issues. And so it’s important for us to ensure we do all we can to boost morale and keep a check on our colleagues’ wellbeing. We’ve been keeping in touch with the team through regular update video calls, fun weekly team ‘socials’ and we join together virtually every Thursday to clap for key workers. But many of our staff are also using this time to concentrate on their continued professional development (CPD), as well as day to day work.
This opportunity for CPD is aided by the surge in industry networks coming together to collaborate, sharing insight, tips and ideas in a way which can benefit all. For example, Women in Tourism (WIT) is offering inspiration, motivation and mentoring with fortnightly #WITWednesday webinars, while HIT Scotland has launched a free-to-use app which provides links to a range of self-development tools and resources for hospitality workers, covering everything from people management to meditation. Napier University’s Destination Leaders Programme (DLP) have established DLP Assembles which is a fortnightly series of webinars for the tourism and hospitality industry, featuring a range of useful topics including updates on the InternationalMarkets and UK Stay-cation, and VisitScotland is keeping spirits high by showcasing Scotland in a stunning film reminding audiences of what it has to offer and to ‘dream now, travel later’ and encouraging the Scottish community to show their love for their cities, towns and countryside while staying at home with its #AWindowOnScotland campaign.
While we continue to comply with any government-imposed limits, a change of strategy is inevitable. Throughout this challenging time, we are drawing on our past to tackle the future, using this time to refocus our attention and look to the future, listen to the Industry, our customers and suppliers and re-evaluate our practises and priorities to ensure we come back stronger from all of this.