An action plan to boost the value of Scotland’s marine tourism industry by nearly £100 million was launched today (Friday 20 November 2015).
The Marine Tourism Symposium saw around 120 members of the industry gather at the Scottish Parliament to hear how the Marine Tourism Strategy Action Plan could increase the value of the industry from £360m to £450m by 2020. It also aims to increase the value of sailing tourism from £101m to £145m in the next five years.
A strategic framework for Scotland’s marine tourism industry – entitled Awakening the Giant ¬¬– was launched earlier this year and today will see the announcement of the practical steps needed to make the vision a reality. This is in-line with the national tourism strategy – Tourism Scotland 2020.The five-year strategy, developed by the marine tourism industry outlines the potential and opportunity to grow Scotland’s revenue by enhancing the world-class marine tourism destination by focusing on three key themes: “Providing Authentic Experiences”, “Improving the Customer Journey” and “Building our Capabilities”.
Stuart McMillan, West Scotland MSP and Convener of the Cross-Party Group on Recreational Boating and Marine Tourism, said:
“The Cross-Party Group on Recreational Boating and Marine Tourism has led the way on highlighting Scotland’s Marine Tourism opportunity and I’m delighted to be chairing this second symposium. Our first event two years ago set three challenging targets: The creation of the first marine tourism strategy, the creation of a data collection tool and a second symposium to ensure progress is being made.
“All three challenges have been met and now Scotland is about to progress the Marine Tourism offering even further.”
The Scottish Marine Tourism Development Group comprises: British Marine Scotland; The Crown Estate; The Firth of Clyde Forum; Highlands and Islands Enterprise; The Royal Yachting Association Scotland; Sail Scotland; Scottish Canals; Scottish Development International; Scottish Enterprise; the Scottish Tourism Alliance; and VisitScotland.
Earlier this year, Scotland was voted the ‘World’s Best Cruising Ground’ in the prestigious Sailing Today Awards – beating the warm weather destinations of Greece, Turkey, Canaries and St Vincent and the Grenadines.