Tourism is big business in Scotland. No surprise there. In 2015 Visit Scotland reports that just under 14.9 million overnight tourism trips were taken in Scotland with visitor expenditures totaling over £5 billion. There are many staples that drive Scottish tourism including Golf (invented by the Scottish), History (castles, battlefields, abbeys, etc), Culture (whisky, tartan, bagpipes), Genealogy (exploring family and ancestral clan relations), and more. Not typically considered a driving force for tourism to Scotland is, wait for it, sailing!
Including its numerous islands, Scotland offers more than 10,000 miles of coastline and that number grows even large when inland lochs and canals are added. Scotland is a maritime nation with a long seafaring history. Maritime tourism has been a part of the nation's tourism industry for years, but only recently have efforts begun to make sailing as much a pillar of tourism to Scotland as Golf, History, Culture, Genealogy and the others.
In 2015 Scotland was awarded the prestigious "Cruising Ground of the Year" award in the inaugural Sailing Today awards. Readers and sailors throughout the UK voted in an online poll to determine the winners. Scotland won what amounts to the best sailing waters in the world award over such traditional warm weather destinations as Greece, Turkey, St. Vincent, Canaries and the Grenadines. To capitalize on this momentum Sail Scotland, the national marketing arm for Scottish sailing and maritime tourism, together with the Scottish Government and other key stakeholders have launched a 5-year marketing strategy called "Awakening the Giant" that aims to grow visitor revenue by ¢145 million by 2020 and increase the value of the sector to £450 million in 5 years.
For the landlubber tourist to the experienced sailor, Scotland offers a variety of sailing holiday options including: on your own boat, chartering a vessel, fully catered luxury holidays, and sailing lessons. Under The Tartan Sky visited with Daniel Steel, Chief Executive of Sail Scotland about all of these options and the general attraction of a maritime holiday in Scotland.
After listening to the podcast, you can find additional information by using the links shown here:
• Sail Scotland (website, or use the click thru link below)
• Sail Scotland Brochure (100 pages/downloadable)
• Royal Yachting Association (website)
• Boating on the Caledonian Canal (website)
• Scottish Maritime Museum (website)