Scotland has been voted the ‘World’s Best Cruising Ground’ in the prestigious Sailing Today Awards - beating even the warm weather destinations of Greece, Turkey, Canaries and St Vincent and the Grenadines!
The inaugural awards invited Sailing Today‘s readers and sailors throughout the UK to vote in 15 categories via an online poll - the results of which were announced in a ceremony at Southampton Boat Show attended by the great and the good of the sailing industry.
Scotland was announced as the winner of the prestigious Cruising Ground of the Year award which was collected by Gavin McDonagh, Chairman of Sail Scotland, the national marketing organisation for Scottish sailing and marine tourism.
Sail Scotland together with the Scottish Government, Visit Scotland and other key stakeholders has developed a National Marine Tourism Strategy called ‘Awakening the Giant’, which aims to grow visitor revenue to £145 million by 2020 and increase the value of the sector to £450m in five years. It seems that the giant is already stirring, and sailing enthusiasts are taking notice of just how attractive a proposition it is to sail Scotland.
Sailing Today Editor, Sam Fortescue said:“Scotland provides hauntingly beautiful cruising and fine food and drink. Efforts to spread the word and grow the sector should be applauded. It is no surprise Scotland has been voted as Cruising Ground of the Year. With modern marinas, wild anchorages and friendly fishing ports there is plenty to go round when you sail Scotland.”
Gavin McDonagh, Chairman of Sail Scotland said: “This is an outstanding accolade for Scotland beating some of the world’s most established sailing destinations to take this award. It is not often that Scotland comes first in the world, but given our country’s incredible wildlife and scenery, crystal clear waters and warm welcome, it is no wonder that a growing number of visitors from across Europe and further afield are attracted to our waters each year.”
Dr Mike Cantlay OBE, Chairman of VisitScotland, said: “Marine tourism is one of Scotland’s key tourism assets, currently delivering £360 million a year to the economy. The country’s outstanding victory in this Sailing Today poll is further testimony to Scotland’s growing reputation as one of the world’s greatest destinations for sailing and marine tourism.”