The campaign to attract more cruise ships to Scotland has received a timely boost with international recognition ahead of a further marketing drive in the USA this month.
Just days after the country being named “Destination of the Year” at the prestigious Seatrade Cruise Insider Awards 2012 in Marseille, France, Cruise Scotland’s Chairman, Richard Alexander, is in the United States to ersuade more cruise operators to add Scottish ports to their itineraries.
He said: “In what is a growing, global industry with countless destinations to choose from, the award is another great selling point for Scotland and comes on top of a record-breaking season in 2012. This accolade is testimony to the efforts of our member ports, organisations and the many others involved in providing support services at destinations throughout Scotland.”
The award goes to a region, tourism body or association which has made significant strides in promoting cruise tourism. Nominations were considered by a panel of industry executives, Seatrade Insider's global editorial team, cruise consultants, analysts and association experts from around the world. Black Sea Cruise Ports and Cruise the St Lawrence
were also finalists.
Captain Iain Dunderdale of Cruise Highlands (Port of Invergordon) received the award on behalf of Cruise Scotland from Tony Heuer, President of Fidelio Cruise, Principal Sponsor of the Awards, now in their sixth year, during the Seatrade Med Cruise and Superyacht Convention in which Cruise Scotland participated. The engraved glass trophy will be centrepiece at the organisation’s members’ meeting in Glasgow today (Tuesday 4 December).
Scotland’s Minister for Energy, Enterprise & Tourism, Fergus Ewing MSP, said: “This award recognises the hard work of the team at Cruise Scotland. Scotland is now the market leader in the UK for inbound cruise tourism and there is room for further expansion in this global market.
"The award shows, it’s not just a question of excellent physical infrastructure to attract cruise liners: Scotland delivers a world class, highly professional offering for cruise liner passengers, working with all our stakeholders across the tourism industry in Scotland to deliver a quality experience for everyone.”
In October 2011, Cruise Scotland secured grant funding of £11,375 from VisitScotland’s Growth Fund, matching contributions by members. The funds are enabling the association
to undertake new marketing activities - including visits to cruise lines in Europe and the USA which it could not otherwise have afforded - based on recommendations in an earlier national study on Opportunities for Cruise Tourism Development in Scotland.
Richard Alexander said: “Our objective is to build on private and public sector support and another successful season to realise the tremendous potential there is to expand the cruise industry’s contribution to the Scottish economy. The outlook for 2013 and beyond is very positive.”
His meetings in the USA will directly target operators in this very important marketplace to keep them appraised of developments and emerging opportunities in Scotland.
Cruise Scotland’s ongoing marketing programme next year will include returning to the industry’s leading event, Cruise Shipping Miami, from 11-14 March, and Seatrade Europe – Cruise & River Convention, from 24-26 September, in Hamburg.
Cruise Scotland set new records in 2012, with 436 cruise calls, delivering 379,955 passengers to Scotland, an increase of 14% and 19% respectively on 2011, and generating an estimated £41.2 million to the Scottish economy.