The west goes wild for coasts and waters

The West Coast Marine Tourism Collaboration meet at Riverside Museum in Glasgow to announce their VisitScotland Growth Fund Award.
The West Coast Marine Tourism Collaboration meet at Riverside Museum in Glasgow to announce their VisitScotland Growth Fund Award.

The first ever pan west coast Scotland tourism campaign has received funding support from VisitScotland.

West Coast Waters, bringing together an unprecedented 22 industry groups from across Scotland’s west coast, has received a £40,000 VisitScotland Growth Fund award.

The Growth Fund, delivered by the national tourism organisation supports national, regional and sectoral tourism groups across Scotland to deliver partnership marketing campaigns.

A collaboration between 21 of Scotland’s west coast destination partners and WildScotland, with CalMac Ferries also a key partner, the campaign looks to attract visitors to the west coast and surrounding islands in 2020 to either get on, or in the water. This is following a major scoping initiative in 2018 where 300 hubs across the west coast were identified as locations where visitors can experience Scotland’s marine tourism offering.

Using the Year of Coasts and Waters 2020 as a platform, the 12-month campaign will work with influencers and use digital marketing to raise awareness of the sheer breadth and scale of opportunities available across the west coast of Scotland for adventure seekers and curious travelers from the UK. Influencer activity will begin this weekend which includes travel blogger ‘Adventures Around Scotland’ going on a week-long tour of Wester Ross, Skye, Harris and Lewis, and ‘Travels with a Kilt’ exploring Lochaber, Skye, the Uists, Barra and Oban.

The campaign will focus on four key products:

– Boat trips exploring the wildlife, natural wonders, uninhabited islands, remote attractions and stunning scenery of the west coast

– Island hopping with Calmac and other ferry and boat operator services

– Trails of Discovery including snorkeling, sea kayaking, seafood, whisky, whales and dolphins

– Snorkeling, Wild Swimming, Surfing and Paddlesports

The campaign’s landing page was launched together with a toolkit for the area’s tourism industry, showing how they can get involved in the campaign and make the most of the opportunities presented by the Year of Coasts and Waters 2020.

Carron Tobin, West Coast Waters Coordinator and Campaign Project Manager, said: “West Coast Waters is hugely exciting with collaboration at a scale never experienced before. The research undertaken in 2018 revealed not just the individual opportunities in each destination but the extent of the opportunity by working together. This campaign is the evidence of this becoming reality.

“A workshop in January 2019 scoped out this campaign and each of the destination partners have made a contribution to be part of it. We have tremendous support from our agency and local authority partners too, and the VisitScotland Growth Fund award has been the catalyst for even further engagement. We are all keenly looking forward to welcoming visitors to our coast and islands and helping them slow down, immerse their senses and explore the roads less traveled across the West Coast.”

David Adams McGilp, VisitScotland Regional Director, said: “West Coast Waters is a multi-destination collaborative effort to realise the extraordinary potential of the maritime environment up and down the region. This exciting new campaign will showcase the vast marine tourism offering of Scotland’s west coast and bring visitors to the area to discover this offering for themselves.

“Partnership and collaboration are at the heart of Scottish tourism and I’m delighted VisitScotland are able to support this innovative campaign that will help bring success, well-being and prosperity to the west of Scotland.”

In 2020, Scotland celebrates its Coasts and Waters with a year-long programme of events and activities which will shine a spotlight on these vital elements of our landscape.

For more information about the campaign go to www.westcoastwaters.co.uk.