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Isle of Skye Hotel books future thanks to bank support

Posted: 8th March 2021

An award-winning luxury hotel on the Isle of Skye that has lost over a thousand bookings because of the COVID-19 pandemic has secured its future with the support of Bank of Scotland.

Kinloch Lodge, a family-run 19-bedroom hotel, relies heavily on revenue from international tourists so the ban on overseas travel hit it hard. Some 1,200 bookings from March to June were cancelled, forcing the hotel to temporarily close and furlough all 32 members of staff.

However, it has now secured a six-figure loan from Bank of Scotland via the UK government’s Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS), allowing it to trade through the pandemic until travel restrictions are lifted, as well as pay suppliers.

The hotel relies heavily on international travellers, which account for 75% of bookings. Located at the bottom of Loch na Dal, guests often use the hotel as a base to explore local hillwalking trails and fishing spots.

Isabella Macdonald, Director of Kinloch Lodge, said: “Most businesses in the Highlands experience quieter trading periods during the winter, so we tend to rely on our spring and summer months. Unfortunately, when the ban on non-essential travel hit in March we went from being fully booked to nothing, almost overnight.

“Thanks to the support from Bank of Scotland, we’ve been given the breathing space needed to allow us to pay our suppliers and overheads, and we now look forward to welcoming our team and guests back when the restrictions are eased.

“Despite our bookings normally being largely made up of international travellers, we’re hopeful for a rise in UK staycations and a busy end to the year for our business.”

Barrie Aird, relationship manager at Bank of Scotland, said: “Kinloch Lodge is a prominent Highland business that’s been operating for almost 50 years. Many companies like this in the tourist industry have been hugely impacted by the restrictions imposed during the pandemic and are learning to adapt and adjust to the climate.

“At Bank of Scotland, we’re committed to supporting businesses like this as they navigate these challenging times.”

Business Comment

Business Comment is the Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce’s bi-monthly magazine. It provides insight on Edinburgh’s vibrant business community, with features on the city’s key sectors, interviews with leading figures and news on new business developments in the capital.
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