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A new campaign to encourage more people to enjoy sailing holidays in Scotland could boost the economy by over £1 million, Tourism Minister Fergus Ewing has announced.

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Sailing to Success, a recently announced £22,500 grant from the VisitScotland Growth Fund, has been launched to boost Scotland's booming sailing industry.

Worth £101 million a year to Scotland, the sailing industry supports around 2700 jobs around the country. As part of its year-long £45,000 campaign, Sail Scotland – the national marketing organisation for sailing tourism – will also receive £11,000 from Scottish Development International, to help the group access international markets and achieve its growth ambitions. Sail Scotland's new drive to promote sailing holidays intends to generate an extra 8,382 visitor boat nights from its target markets and deliver an additional £1,089,660 of expenditure into the Scottish economy.

Sail to Scotland

An industry-led marketing group, Sail Scotland has been around for 20 years. From single-person charter businesses to large marinas, harbours and leisure groups, Sail Scotland has almost 50 member businesses. By using the funding to exhibit at a number of international boat shows in 2015 (including shows in Dusseldorf, Gothenburg, Oslo and Wales) and further development of the 'Sailing Scotland' brand, it hopes to extend its reach in the international market. 

Tourism Minister Fergus Ewing said: “I am delighted to announce that Sail Scotland is the latest recipient of an award from the VisitScotland Growth Fund. This £22,500 grant will help the group to promote sailing holidays in Scotland to a wider audience and, given the quality of destinations and facilities on offer in this country, I have no doubt they will succeed in their aim to attract thousands more enthusiasts to these shores over the coming year.”

Delivering growth in the tourism industry

Daniel Steel, Chief Executive of Sail Scotland, said: “At Sail Scotland we have been working hard to promote the industry for 20 years, and it is great to see Scotland beginning to realise the true potential of sailing and boating tourism."

“With a draft marine tourism strategy in development, this is a tangible example of how the industry will play a leading role in delivering growth. This funding will help fund one of the most ambitious marketing plans in our history, further raising awareness of Scotland as a world-class sailing destination both within the UK and overseas.

“Along with recent investment in digital development, and existing activities, we aim to drive visits by offering a range of options for beginners to experienced yachtsmen, with the ultimate aim of generating an extra 8,000 visitor boat nights for Scotland.”

Scotland: the perfect destination

Mike Cantlay, Chairman of VisitScotland, said: “With thousands of miles of stunning coastline and hundreds of islands ready to be explored, Scotland really is the perfect destination for a sailing holiday. The VisitScotland Growth Fund encourages tourism businesses to work together and Sail Scotland is a perfect example of this. Incorporating the smallest charter companies to the biggest marinas, the group already does an excellent job of promoting sailing holidays in Scotland and we are thrilled to help its members expand their reach in the global market.”

Graeme White, Head of Tourism at Scottish Development International, said: “Sail Scotland’s International Strategy is targeting growth of over £1 million a year in visitor spend with the businesses in and out of the water around our coastline, lochs and canals. We’re supporting this strategy with funding to help Sail Scotland’s team target these international audiences as well as connecting the organisation with our overseas offices to access networks and market research.”

What Scotland can offer to you

Scotland is acknowledged as one of the most beautiful countries in the world; famous for our breathtaking scenery, legendary golf courses and the warmth of our welcome. Our tourism industry is booming and currently contributes £5.2 billion a year to the country's economy. Many of the world's top hotel brands have set up home here - from Hilton, Marriott, Radisson and Malmaison - and have found continued success in Scotland. 

Interested in the opportunities Scotland's tourism industry could offer you? 

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