Economic Stimulus for Growing Scottish Cruise Market
CruiseForth, the grassroots initiative to stimulate local business engagement with the growing cruise market on the Forth, has been awarded £79000 funding by Scottish Enterprise.
The funding is provided as part of the Tourism Destination Development Fund, and comes ahead of the 2017 Cruise Season which sees a 40% increase in passenger numbers from ships visiting the River Forth (and Tay) with 122 vessels due to deliver over 145,000 passengers to Rosyth, Queensferry, Leith, Newhaven and Dundee (89 vessels visited in 2016).
The two year Scottish Enterprise funding, (combined with an additional £10,000 from local partners), will be used to further the development of business awareness of opportunities to engage with the multi-million pound cruise activity which is attracted to East Central Scotland each year. The first of a series of seminars, funded by the project has attracted 60 businesses to meet with Cruise Excursion companies, with new opportunities in Edinburgh, across the Lothians, Borders, and Fife being promoted. Other elements of the Project will explore improved transport integration for cruise and a digital information resource.
The new initiative, labelled Project Crystallise, will extend its reach to businesses across Tayside, Forth Valley and the Borders, reflecting the growth of ship visits to the Forth and to Dundee, where 14 cruise ships will visit in 2017 (up from 10 in 2016)
To promote these new opportunities directly to cruise lines, CruiseForth will travel this month to Seatrade Global, (14-16th March) the primary cruise exhibition and conference in Fort Lauderdale, working alongside Forth Ports Ltd, as part of the Cruise Scotland stand.
Danny Cusick, Director for Food and Drink, Tourism and Textiles at Scottish Enterprise, said:
“The Cruise Project is an excellent example of industry working together with regional partners to exploit a key asset and opportunity for Scotland. The Forth cruise market continues to deliver an impressive rate of growth and this project provides a critical service in enabling the nearby tourism destinations to benefit from the influx of visitors.”
Councillor Helen Law, Fife Council, Chair of the CruiseForth Project said:
“The Cruise Project has already been a great success in connecting local businesses across East Central Scotland with the cruise ships which arrive in the River Forth. The granting of Scottish Enterprise funding for the next two years enables the Project to further develop new opportunities for local businesses in the hospitality sector.”
Robert Mason, Head of Cruise at Forth Ports Ltd, said:
“Forth Ports are committed to promoting Edinburgh and East Central Scotland as a destination for cruise itinerary planners. The 25% year on year growth in ship arrivals for 2017, involving 150000 passengers demonstrates the importance of this sector . 2018 bookings already look strong. The award of Scottish Enterprise funding for the CruiseForth project will make a significant positive impact to the effort to promote the involvement of local businesses.”