Mercat Tours, a family-run Edinburgh-based tourism business, will relaunch on Thursday, 27 August, after five months of lockdown. It will also mark 35 years since the company was established in Edinburgh in 1985.

Tourism businesses have suffered badly during the pandemic but Mercat Tours had its team and its visitors at the centre of its ‘pandemic plan’ when it halted all operations one week before lockdown came into effect, to keep people safe.

Second generation managing director of the business, Kat Brogan, whose father established the company 35 years ago, has been working hard on relaunch plans whilst most of her team are furloughed: “Our priority is always to ensure our customers and team can be safe and feel safe.

“This time has allowed us to plan our next steps carefully in order to protect the safety and quality of experience. We have been rigorous with health and safety, reduced our tour group sizes, planned personal distancing, researched new outdoor routes and have been determined to re-launch at the right time for our team and our customers, not before.

“We’ve been overwhelmed by the messages and the enquiries we’ve been receiving during such a difficult time. Whilst we are operating at a lower scale, to ensure safety and comfort, we are pleased to do this from 27 August.

“With thanks to VisitScotland, the Old Town Community Council and Edinburgh World Heritage for supporting Mercat Tours. We’re now “Good to Go” and cannot wait to start reconnecting people with the city, its stories and each other.”

Tours can be booked via the website in advance. Numbers are restricted so it is advised to book with plenty of notice.