Marine recreation and tourism expenditure in Scotland is estimated to amount to £3.7 billion per year, according to a report published today – and SNP MSP Stuart McMillan has emphasised the potential benefits of this growing sector to the Inverclyde economy.
The Scottish Marine Recreation and Tourism Survey shows that £1.3 billion of expenditure comes from specialist marine activities including wildlife watching, sailing, kayaking, surfing and angling with expenditure on general recreation and tourism like beach combing, short walks and coastal cycling amounting to £2.4 billion.
Commenting on these latest findings, Stuart McMillan MSP, who is the chair of the Cross Party Group on Recreational Boating and Marine Tourism in the Scottish Parliament, highlighted the work of the group in helping to implement Scotland’s Marine Tourism strategy:
“The Cross-Party Group on Recreational Boating and Marine Tourism has led the way on highlighting Scotland’s Marine Tourism opportunities. 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.”
Mr McMillan further highlighted the direct benefits of marine recreation and tourism to Inverclyde:
“Inverclyde’s location lends itself to even greater Marine Tourism opportunities just as Fort William is the Outdoor capital of the UK. Making more of our marine tourism opportunities will help create training opportunities and jobs as well as being good for the Inverclyde economy.
Remarking on the findings of the study, Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs, Food and the Environment, Richard Lochhead said:
“Our seas are the jewel in Scotland’s natural crown. They provide energy, food and are a massive draw for visitors from home and abroad. Marine tourism and recreation expenditure in Scotland amounts to £3.7 billion per year, supporting jobs, increasing participation in sports and recreational activities and showcasing Scotland as a world class destination.
“This survey is a significant step forward and will help us understand more about the economic value of the sector and information about the type of visitors/participants and the requirements to support sustainable development of the sector. This survey has been a partnership effort and I would like to thank all the organisations involved for their hard work bringing this information together.”
Full details of the Scottish Marine Recreation and Tourism Survey is available here:http://www.gov.scot/Topics/marine/seamanagement/national/RecandTourism
Maps from the survey are available on National Marine Plan interactive website
This Survey has been developed by the Scottish Government, the Firth of Clyde Forum, the Scottish Coastal Forum and the Crown Estate together with support from members of the Scottish Parliament Cross Party Group on Recreational Boating and Marine Tourism.