Sail Scotland Chief Executive, Daniel Steel and Gavin McDonagh, Chair of Sail Scotland

Sail Scotland Chief Executive, Daniel Steel and Gavin McDonagh, Chair of Sail Scotland

The Scottish marine industry’s tourism marketing association Sail Scotland, led the way at Nautic Paris last week placing Scotland in the spotlight on a stand designed to highlight the best of Scottish sailing and marine tourism.

Nautic – the Salon Nautique International de Paris – is an annual event with over 800 exhibitors, showcasing 1,400 brands for an attendance of more than 240,000 visitors. The Sail Scotland stand was positioned alongside other destinations from around the globe, promoting Scottish sailing holidays, yacht charters, marinas and boatyards to French consumers.

There were many highlights from visitors to the stand; from those who have boats currently in marinas at Inverness, Tarbert and Port Edgar, to others planning their first trip for 2014. One visitor from Normandy will bring his boat to Shetland for a month flying a crew change up for the return trip, whilst a group of 24 wanted to charter 3 boats for a fortnight to sail the west coast in July. And of course many just wanted to share their love of Scotland, from a woman who had dived Scapa Flow, to a gentleman who has fished in Scotland on 20 trips from Creetown to Thurso.

Gavin McDonagh, Chair of Sail Scotland said: “It was great to see the Scottish stand at Paris Boat Show. It is the largest boating and watersports show in the world in terms of visitor numbers. It represents a major opportunity to showcase Scotland, engage with the French market, and attract new visitors, so I am sure that our members will see the benefit from this work as French boats and sailors continue to explore our waters over the coming months and beyond”.

Sail Scotland Chief Executive, Daniel Steel, added: “The Sail Scotland presence at Nautic Paris is an excellent example of the market-led approach we need to deliver our action plan and move forward with our five year strategy. The French market has a great affinity with Scotland. We talked to a lot of people over the ten days who will be visiting Scotland in 2014, and we already know that member businesses have taken tangible enquiries as a direct result of the work in Paris.”

The Sail Scotland stand presence was supported by funding from Scottish Development International (SDI), and working in collaboration with VisitScotland to showcase Scotland’s golf, outdoor activities, and Homecoming 2014 events programme alongside sailing.

Following quickly on from the success of the presence in Paris, Sail Scotland will turn their attention to London Boat Show in January 2014, with a strong stand presence planned to showcase Scotland and further strengthen its position as a key destination for sailing and marine tourism.


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