He said: “YCW2020 will shine a spotlight on the impact our waters have on our country and inspire visitors, locals, and the tourism and events sector to get involved and enjoy everything the year has to offer.
“The year will celebrate all aspects of Scotland’s visitor experience in relation to coasts and waters, with a focus on unique, authentic experiences and sustainable tourism. The visitor opportunity in terms of experiences and events will focus on our natural environment and wildlife, our historic environment and cultural heritage, activities and adventure and food and drink.
“Boasting a delightful range of beaches, beautiful coastal walks, a wonderful variety of wildlife and world class food and drink, the Isle of Bute has a fantastic tourism offering that ties in perfectly with the year.
“Bute is one of Scotland’s most accessible islands with ferry routes between Wemyss Bay and Rothesay, as well as Colintraive and Rubodach. People are being encouraged to ‘take to the water’ and explore Scotland by sea in 2020 and Bute’s excellent connectivity leaves it perfectly placed to welcome visitors travelling from the mainland. It has been announced that one of the five new driving routes, collectively known as The Coig, will be located there. Known as ‘The Bute’ the route takes in much of the island’s beautiful coast and it is expected to increase the number of visitorsto the island, the length of time they stay and the amount they spend.
“The delivery of an exciting programme of special events is an important part of the year and events on the island have the opportunity to apply for the dedicated YCW2020 Events Programme Open Fund which has been designed to create new, high profile opportunities to celebrate our coasts and waters whilst adding value to the existing calendar of events. There is also the YCW2020 Partner Programme which is a non-funded opportunity to align your event with the year and benefit from potential inclusion in VisitScotland promotional activity in celebration of the year.
“YCW2020 is an excellent opportunity for the Isle of Bute to showcase it’s fantastic offering and bring in visitors which are a major benefit to the island. Tourism is more than a holiday experience – it is the heart of the Scottish economy and touches every community, generating income, jobs and social change.”