A new marketing drive has been launched to attract superyachts to the west coast of Scotland. The shoreline has been added to a European-funded project called Cool Route, which is developing a new yacht cruising route.It includes the coasts of Ireland, Northern Ireland, Scotland, the Faroe Islands and Norway.Part of the strategy aims to help remote businesses share in Scotland’s £3.7bn marine tourism industry.The Moffat Centre at Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU), which is a Cool Route partner, is marketing the west coast as one of the most attractive cruising destinations in the world.It is providing logistical, business and marketing support to help increase the number of vessels visiting Scotland and bring wealthy tourists onshore.A brochure targeting superyachts has been produced and small businesses are being urged to register for free on an online platform, which aims to link local enterprises to their ports.It will also provide information on what is available in terms of entertainment and places to visit.
Several superyachts have been spotted in Scotland in recent years.A yacht owned by US billionaire Richard DeVos was seen moored in Greenock this summer, while a 163.5m vessel owned by Chelsea Football Club owner Roman Abramovich, was observed in Inverclyde and Rothesay in 2015.Giancarlo Fedeli, principal investigator for the Cool Route at Glasgow Caledonian University, said: “One specific part of the project is to target superyachts and a lot of marketing activity will aim at this particular segment. There’s higher spending there. “We are aiming at small and medium enterprises and trying to get them involved in the booking website, so visitors will consider using their services. “It is crucial to communicate to all marine operators and beyond, the benefits the Cool Route can bring in terms of visibility and market reach.”
Researchers from GCU, in partnership with British Marine Scotland, have held workshops with marine operators in Oban and have hosted an event for local businesses at Largs Yacht Haven.The Scottish leg of the Cool Route is split into four sections: Argyll and the Islands, the Firth of Clyde, Skye and the North West, and Orkney and Shetland.Led by Cork Institute of Technology, the 1.26 million euro Cool Route project has been funded by the Northern Periphery and Arctic Programme which funds transnational cooperation projects in the northern periphery and arctic region.