Marine Tourism

Marine Tourism

In response to  Tourism Scotland 2020, and under the theme of Nature & Activities, the marine tourism sector’s main industry, marketing and user groups, together with public bodies, have come together to look at the opportunities to drive growth in marine tourism, in particular sailing and boat tourism. 

The final strategy titled “ Awakening the Giant” was launched by Minister for Energy, Business & Tourism, Fergus Ewing MSP at Scottish Tourism Week 2015 in March. The five year strategy outlines the intention to bring even more visitors to the coastlines and canals of Scotland and aims to boost Scotland‘s reputation as a world class marine tourism destination by focussing on three key themes “Providing Authentic Experiences”, “Improving the Customer Journey” and “Building our Capabilities”. The strategy sets a target to grow the total value of the sector by 25%, from £360 million to £450 million, by 2020.

Whilst sailing sits at the core of the strategy and is the focus of initial activities, the strategy also invites other marine tourism stakeholders – from scuba diving and water skiing to sea angling and wildlife watching – to get involved and realise the full potential of the sector.

‘Awakening the Giant’ has been developed in consultation with a wide range of industry groups including British Marine Federation Scotland, Sail Scotland, Scottish Canals, The Crown Estate, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, and Royal Yachting Association Scotland and shaped by input from a public consultation.

November 2015 saw more  than 120 members of the industry gather at the Scottish Parliament for the Marine Tourism Symposium, where the action plan to boost the value of Scotland’s marine tourism industry was launched. The announcement of this plan shows the practical steps needed to make the “Awakening the Giant” vision a reality. This is in-line with the national tourism strategy – Tourism Scotland 2020.  

Ekos report - sailing tourism in Scotland    

Download the full Marine Tourism Strategy 

Download the Marine Tourism Action Plan 

 Download the Marine Tourism Strategic Framework 

 Download the 2016 Sailing Tourism in Scotland Report



 Download The Marine Tourism Strategy Updated Report March 2018 Download Infrastructure for Future Growth 2015-2020

Marine Tourism Steering Group

  • Simon Limb, British Marine Scotland
  • Paul Bancks, Crown Estate
  • James Allan, RYA Scotland
  • Daniel Steel, Sail Scotland
  • Richard Miller, Scottish Canals
  • Marc Crothall, Scottish Tourism Alliance (Chair)
  • Steven Dott, Highlands & Islands Enterprise
  • Scottish Development International
  • David Adams McGilp, VisitScotland

For further information and for press enquiries please contact Marc Crothall

Download the Marine Tourism Development Group Terms of Reference.

See below minutes from previous Marine Tourism Development Group meetings: