Giancarlo Fedeli at GCU had the pleasure to attend Scotland’s Marine Tourism Conference 2018, held at the Moorings Hotel in Banavie, Fort William. In this picturesque setting overlooking the Neptune’ Staircase, the entrance point to the Caledonian Canal and the longest staircase lock in Britain, over 120 attendees participated to the conference providing valuable insights and some stimulating talks.
Fyona Hyslop, the Scottish Cabinet Secretary for Culture and Tourism, reinforced the message on the significance of marine tourism in Scotland and how the entire industry is working towards 2020, Year of the Coast and Waters. She opened the course of the presentations that included an inspirational Shirly Robertson, Scottish sailor and double Olympic Gold Medallist.
The general perception of this event has been incredibly positive; a sense of leadership of the main bodies and harmonised collaboration among the several industry groups is something that clearly transpired through the course of the presentations and discussions. Excitement and passion about the whole marine industry certainly benefit initiatives such as Cool Route which highly relies on the strong relationship with industry groups and operators. The event was also the occurrence of a formal partnership between Sail Scotland and Swedish Guest Harbours, to extend and strengthen the connexion with the northern regions.
This was a great opportunity to get to know the latest developments and plans for expansion, such as the recent plans for a new marina and slipway at Corpach, Fort William. It was also the perfect event to meet with many in the audience interested to find out about the latest updates of the Cool Route and fill them in on the outputs achieved. Among them, the recent launch of the Information and Booking System and the new features such as ‘Share Your Memories of the Cool Route’ developed by Derry City and Strabane Council.