A draft Marine Tourism Strategy for Scotland was launched at the Scottish Boat Show at Inverkip on Friday. Marine tourism is already a significant contributor to the Scottish economy and a major driver of many rural economies, but the industry believes that this is just the start and that considerable growth is possible.
Industry groups, including Sail Scotland and British Marine Federation Scotland have come together to develop a strategy to realise this potential. The approach links closely with the national tourism strategy Tourism Scotland 2020, co-ordinated by the Scottish Tourism Alliance, and has already secured the support of user groups, industry, agencies and government. Whilst these groups think the strategy is on the right lines they are very keen to hear other views.
Commenting on the launch James Stuart, CEO of the boating user group RYA Scotland, said “the launch of this draft strategy is a big milestone in the development of Scotland’s marine tourism offer. It is already considered to have a world class environment and seascape and now we want to see a world class industry behind it.”
He continued “Scotland has fantastic waters and also world leading cultural events, one of the big aims of this strategy is to bring them both together to create the very best experience possible.
From our point of view the better a boating experience is, the more likely people are to do it again and to bring their friends along too; driving participation. Of course from our partners perspective more people and more boats will also drive the economy. A virtuous relationship and why we are very keen to bring this to life.”
The group behind this are clear however that they don’t have all of the answers and so the consultation process is seen as being key.
To have your say, write to the addresses in the draft or respond online at: www.surveymonkey.com/s/marinetourismstrat
There will also be a series of workshops run around Scotland that you may wish to attend.
To download the strategy and to read more please click here.