Plan announced to boost marine tourism by £90m

MARINE tourism in Scotland could be boosted by £90 million as part of a five-year action plan, a conference is set to be told.

The plan aims to increase jobs and prosperity around the entire coastline of Scotland. Picture: TSPL

Delegates attending the marine tourism symposium in Edinburgh are to hear that the strategy could increase the value of the industry from £360 million to £450 million by 2020.

The event at the Scottish Parliament is also to reveal a further aim of the marine tourism strategy action plan is to boost sailing tourism value from £101 million to £145 million.

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The symposium is part of the industry’s Awakening the Giant programme, launched earlier this year to put the plans for expansion into practice. It will run in tandem with Tourism Scotland 2020, the national tourism strategy.

Tourism minister Fergus Ewing said: “The marine tourism action plan shows how the sector is already collaborating to help bring additional business, jobs and prosperity to communities around the entire coastline of Scotland and along our inland waterways.

“This helps showcase Scotland as a world-class destination and encourages increased participation in sports and recreational activities.”

The three key themes identified as part of the plan involve providing authentic experiences, improving the customer journey and building industry capabilities.

Improved infrastructure, coastal facilities and co-ordination of international, national and regional events have also been highlighted as key aspects of the scheme, with Inverness due to host the World Canal Conference in 2016.

Marine tourism project manager Alan Rankin, of the Scottish Tourism Alliance, said: “We have some of the most stunning locations in the world that are easily accessible to our UK and overseas markets.

“That, coupled with a broad range of innovative companies, progressive local business communities and an aligned stakeholder-led strategy, makes for a really positive future for the sector.”