Edinburgh's hospitality industry shouldn't bank on wave of older customers anytime soon – Helen Martin

Edinburgh’s tourism industry seems to feel that the over-55s, people who have had their vaccines, will be the ones who boost and help revive visiting and the hospitality business this summer.

To a certain extent, I hope that’s right. Older folk aren’t going to be causing vast crowds, noise and upheaval as thousands of younger, more active, late-bedding young folk would. But I’m not convinced that older tourists will be “a solution” to the tourism crisis.

It’s almost 18 months since I’ve been in the city centre, and not at all since Covid-19 began. I haven’t been on a bus. I shop locally, at out-of-town locations, or online.

I’m 68 and had my first vaccine on February 20, having received a letter at least ten days before. Twelve weeks takes me to this Saturday when I should have had my second vaccine. But so far, I haven’t received a letter.

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So far, I have no desire to go back to a pub or restaurant (even locally), and certainly not to a cinema, theatre or venue. With any visitors coming to Edinburgh later this year from other countries, it’s unlikely I’ll be heading into the centre or any gathering place.

There’s perhaps a possibility of a holiday in winter if that’s permitted, but I’d still be very cautious about getting on a plane. Fred Olsen cruises are very popular with us but not now, or even this year.

Like everyone else, I want our businesses and economy to recover, but I think the majority, not all, of the over-55s are on the same page.


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The older generation may have been vaccinated against Covid but some may not be ready for a return to the pub yet (Picture: Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

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