Highlanders have got what it takes for a successful recovery from Covid in 2022

The Highlands have many of the ingredients needed for a successful recovery in 2022, but significant challenges still remain according to business and political leaders.


Highland economist Tony Mackay said the centrality of hospitality and tourism to the region’s economy boded well but – as the reintroduction of restrictions in the wake of the Omicron variant showed – it was also a sector particularly vulnerable to changes in Covid.

“The local economy had a disastrous year in 2020 because of the pandemic with output declining by about nine per cent, which was worse than the Scottish average fall of 6.8 per cent,” he said.

“The main reason for the difference is the greater importance of the tourism industry in the Highlands.

“There has been a recovery during most of 2021 and I am currently forecasting growth of 3.5 per cent for the Highland economy in 2022.

“However, there is the new complication of the Omicron virus, which will obviously adversely impact the tourism and hospitality industries over the next few months.”