Scotland’s sailing economy is set to grow

Scotland's sailing economy is set to grow by 28% Scotland's sailing economy is set to grow by 28%
Industry Database

Scotland’s £130m sailing tourism economy is set to grow by up to 28% in the next seven years, according to new research.

Sailing tourism supports 2,700 jobs across Scotland’s four main sailing areas – the Clyde, West, North and East coasts according to a new Sailing Tourism in Scotland report.

The report identifies a potential increase of £36.9m to £167.1m in sailing tourism revenue over the next seven years with opportunities for investment in infrastructural developments and to make more of Scottish sailing waters accessible to cruising yachts.

Part of the potential is in recognising the increase of visiting non-Scottish boat owners - in 2016 these sailors contributed almost £39m into Scotland, a 24% increase since 2009.

Across Scotland there are currently 15,700 berths available for sailors, up from 12,600 in 2009. With berth occupancy at 95%, a further 3,000 berths could be added.

Key developments on the east coast in The Forth and The Tay will also be vital to attract a European market.

“The numbers speak for themselves, Scotland is an in-demand sailing destination. To maintain the growth there is a vital need for further investment in facilities around visitor pontoons, moorings and shore side infrastructure,” explained Alan Rankin, marine tourism project manager. “Get this right and the customer experience will continue to improve so attracting more visitors and sailing can play an even bigger role in Scotland’s tourism economy.”

The report was compiled by EKOS Ltd and funded by Highlands & Islands Enterprise, The Crown Estate and Scottish Canals to identify opportunities and growth potential in recreational sailing.    

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