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ASVA wins concession allowing alcoholic samples on tours



The Association of Scottish Visitor Attractions (ASVA) has announced that recovering distillery and brewery experiences are allowed to serve alcohol samples on tours after successfully lobbying the Scottish Government.

Yesterday, the First Minister confirmed that samples of alcohol can be served by drinks-based attractions as part of a tour experience from 26 April, as Scotland moves into Level 3 coronavirus restrictions.

The Scotch Whisky Experience and Diageo supported the lobbying efforts by AVSA, which has also been trying to reduce the physical distancing rules from two metres to one metres at attractions, in line with the hospitality sector.

The Scottish Government has now confirmed that alcohol samples will be permitted – an important issue for the 41 distilleries amongst ASVA’s membership of almost 500 attractions.

The guidance stipulates that they must be served as a distinctive part of the tour experience and incorporated into the ticket price.

It should not be possible for visitors to buy any additional alcoholic beverages to be consumed during the experience on top of the samples provided as part of the tour.

While being served, all physical distancing and hygiene protocols must be followed.

ASVA chief executive Gordon Morrison said: “Serving drams for visitors to sample is an integral part of the experience offered.

“It is completely different from serving alcohol in any other environment and we are pleased that the Scottish Government has recognised this and that distilleries and breweries will be able to offer samples of their fantastic products as part of their guided tours commencing on 26 April.”

Susan Morrison, chief executive of The Scotch Whisky Experience and chair of ASVA, added: “Attractions have been facing numerous challenges throughout the pandemic and restrictions on alcohol have hit drinks-based attractions hard.

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