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Clyde Muirshiel embraces the Year of Natural Scotland

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11 Apr 2013

Clyde Muirshiel Park Authority embraces the Year of Natural Scotland 2013

Today (Thursday 11 April 2013) Mike Cantlay, Chair of Visit Scotland, will ‘launch’ this initiative as part of Clyde Muirshiel Regional Park’s Year of Natural Scotland 2013 events and activities. Sailfaris will provide a unique opportunity for visitors to combine marine wildlife watching with learning to sail an ocean going yacht ‘The Clyde Muirshiel Explorer’.

Options range from day trips, weekend breaks or longer residential cruises on the luxury 45 foot yatch. As well as the diverse bird life of the Firth of Clyde, visitors will be looking out for seals, porpoises and dolphins, and later in the season basking sharks. The Regional Park’s staff will be on board throughout to give expert information and advice. No previous experience is required so it’s a fantastic opportunity for visitors to experience the area’s stunning natural assets from a new perspective.

Mike Cantlay Chairman of Visit Scotland said: “I’m delighted to have been invited to come along and take part in the launch. The Year of Natural Scotland is all about getting as many people as possible out and about experiencing our amazing country for themselves. Scotland is blessed with some beautiful landscapes and wonderful wildlife, with the Firth of Clyde having each in abundance. I’m sure that the Sailfaris initiative will help to boost the region’s natural tourism product at a rate of knots.”

The Firth of Clyde provides one of the largest areas of sheltered deep water in the British Isles making it an ideal destination for both sailing and wildlife watching. Marine tourism activities in Scotland have economic benefits equal to golf tourism. Clyde Muirshiel is Scotland’s largest Regional Park and this area alone generates £62 million of tourism expenditure each year.

Marc Crothall Chief Executive of the Scottish Tourism Alliance said: “One of the key aims set out in the National Strategy: Tourism Scotland 2020 is to play to Scotland’s strengths by turning our unique assets into authentic memorable experiences, and the Sailfaris initiative is a fantastic example of this; combining our natural assets with our active offering. With Marine tourism set to grow the development opportunities and future for this new venture should be plain sailing.”

The launch of the Clyde Muirshiel Explorer Sailfaris will be attended by representatives from national agencies and key tourism businesses from in and around the Park area.

Cllr Chris Gilmour, Chair of Clyde Muirshiel Park Authority said “Clyde Muirshiel Regional Park is a unique ‘green’ asset in west central Scotland and Year of Natural Scotland 2013 will be a showcase for its landscape and natural heritage leaving a legacy of learning and re-connection with our Scottish countryside.

We are delighted that Mike Cantlay has been able to come to Largs to launch the Regional Park’s Sailfaris. This initiative is public sector led and we are pleased to provide the opportunity for Mike and key tourism stakeholders to meet while he is in the area.”

For Clyde Muirshiel Park Authority the Year of Natural Scotland 2013 is a fantastic opportunity to deliver social, health improvement, tourism and environmental priorities. Linked to Year of Natural Scotland 2013 will be educational and learning activities, opportunities for volunteering and programmes that improve health and wellbeing. Habitat and species enhancement will go hand in hand with built heritage conservation and opportunities to get involved, learn new skills, meet new people and enjoy the wildlife, scenery and natural heritage of the Park.

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