Marine tourism industry membership group Sail Scotland has today launched a new web-based platform to better connect local businesses with visiting leisure crafts, yachts and cruising vessels.
The new scheme promotes the purchase of local seafood, fresh food, arts and crafts but also in a manner that in light of Covid-19 respects the wishes of communities regarding visitors stepping ashore at destination ports, anchorages and harbours.
The portal promotes a range of produce including: Beer wines and spirits, Local Seafood, Fresh Foods, Meats, Bakery, Dairy, Takeaway, Groceries, Household, Arts, and Crafts
The scheme is in response to the recent phase of the Scottish Government Coronavirus (COVID-19): tourism and hospitality sector guidance that will see a further opening of tourism activities across Scotland.
Tourism Secretary Fergus Ewing said:
“As we see the further re-opening of our tourism and hospitality sectors, I am delighted that Sail Scotland are introducing their Shop to Ship initiative.”
“It recognises the opportunities for cross-selling food and drink that tourism delivers, often in our most remote areas. It also enables individual businesses and their host communities to be recognised as welcoming destinations, with the processes tailored precisely to local circumstances and built in from the beginning.
“It’s also a part of the wider work, across a range of partners, to encourage everyone to responsibly and safely enjoy the health and wellbeing benefits of being close to or on Scotland’s ‘blue’ spaces, especially during this Year of Coasts and Waters.”
Alan Rankin Chief Executive of Sail Scotland said,
“In response to the crisis brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic Sail Scotland has opened a FREE to list web directory to enable shore-based producers and retailers to gain valuable business, selling to visiting yachts.”
“A key element of the world class Scottish sailing experience is the world class food and drink available through local shoreside businesses. This pilot initiative is aimed to enhance the sailing experience and offer vital sales to local coastal and island businesses.”
The further easing of lockdown will allow yachts and boats to visit remote areas and island communities. The Safe Sailing Guidelines published by Sail Scotland as part of the national framework for a recovery in tourism asks visiting yachts to Respect the Destination by planning ahead, making a considered arrival and thinking local. Sail Scotland recognised that no two destinations are the same, so the platform aims to connect the producer and the consumer as easily as possible in a way that suits local wishes.
Fiona Richmond, Head of Regional Food at Scotland Food & Drink, said:
“The effective closure of Scotland’s tourism industry has had a huge impact on our food and drink producers, many of which relied on a thriving tourism and hospitality sector. With restrictions beginning to unwind and businesses seeking to find new ways of working, it’s great to see innovative initiatives like the Shop to Ship Marketplace, which provides a fantastic digital platform for local businesses to reach new customers.
“The appetite of the Scottish public to support their local food and drink businesses has been clear to see since restrictions were introduced in March. Scotland boasts some of the best food and drink products in the world, and we should all endeavour to continue to support our local producers.”
Alan Rankin added,
“The sailing season has been greatly impacted by Covid-19 with commercial charter operators and shoreside businesses facing a short period to generate turnover. We hope this platform will help to assist businesses across the marine tourism sector in what are very difficult times.”
The platform is available for businesses to register at https://www.sailscotland.co.uk/registration