Recovery position

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There can be little doubt Arran has shown again how resilient the island can be when the odds are stacked against it.

When the island re-opened its doors with trepidation after lockdown there was fear. Would the visitors come back?

There was no need to worry on that front but for Arran Recovery Group to predict this week that a third of the 2020 tourist trade income could be achieved – amounting to £23 million – is a remarkable story indeed.

However, it is a long way from full recovery and government help is still going to be required.

Chairman Tom Tracey admitted, when the recovery process started in May the outlook was ‘very bleak’ and many businesses thought they would have to write off 2020 with many predicting, as a result, they would not survive.

Wind on to the start of August. The island is extremely busy, no doubt helped by Scots staycationing at home, and there are healthy accommodation bookings well into the autumn.

There could be a bit of a slump when the schools go back next week, but south of the border the schools are out for at least another month and there are plenty of visitors looking for trips outside the school holidays.

And it is wonderful there have been no new Covid-19 cases on the island for more than 100 days. We want to ensure it stays like that. The partial recovery of the tourist industry may be good news, but no-one should be under any illusion we are out of the woods yet.