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Although this new campaign is directly aimed at the marine sector whether that be sailing, cruising, wildlife watching boat tours, kayaking or paddleboarding, Wild Scotland and members have a responsibility to ensure that this important messaging is shared much wider – across land and water to ensure that communities across Scotland are shown the upmost respect during such a challenging time. We urge you to engage with this campaign and share the message #RespectTheDestination whether you operate on land or on water. 

Marine Tourism Industry calls on boaters to Respect Rural and Island Destinations

As lockdown continues to be eased across Scotland a joint plea has been made by marine tourism and sports groups for boaters and water users to have full consideration and respect for the destinations they plan to visit.

#RespectTheDestination has been launched today by; Sail Scotland, RYA Scotland, British Marine Scotland and Wild Scotland. The campaign will be promoted across social media channels to reach leisure and commercial boaters reminding them different arrangements, levels of service and local access controls may in place at popular sailing and boating destinations.


The key massages within the campaign are:

Plan Ahead

  • Make sure the planned destination is open to visitors as there may be reduced services such as limited or no; fuel supply, water, showers, or step-ashore might not be welcomed. Some moorings may not yet be in commission and launching or landing places will have some form of hygiene regime.

On Arrival

  • Approaching pontoons should be carried out after prior approval and allocation of a berth by the operator of the facility. Vessels anchoring or mooring should follow local access guidance.
  • Consider wearing gloves or apply additional cleaning measures when launching and landing or handling mooring or berthing equipment.

Think Local

  • Crew and guests should adhere to local guidelines regarding ability to leave the vessel and go ashore. Consider wearing a facemask and above all respect local restrictions and controls.
  • Local businesses can arrange supply of produce to visiting yachts. Check ahead and where possible buy local.

Sail Scotland CEO Alan Rankin said. “Through our dealings with a wide range of island and coastal businesses, moorings, harbours, commercial boat operators and destination groups it became clear different locations were moving at different speeds when it came to re-opening and welcoming visitors. Marine tourism activities bring significant economic benefit to many rural locations and will play a vital role in recovery from the catastrophic impact Covid-19 pandemic has brought to these communities. Working with other industry partners we hope marine tourism is seen as a force for good and those taking to the water in the coming weeks put the wishes of communities foremost when planning trips.”

#RespectTheDestination emerged from the Covid-19 Safe Sailing Guidelines developed by Sail Scotland for commercial charter and leisure boating sectors. The Safe Sailing Guidelines form part of the Governments Coronavirus Tourism and Hospitality Sector Guidance and provide specific guidelines to operators to comply with the Scottish Governments Covid Routemap.  During the development of the document and listening to coastal and island communities the need emerged for a clear message for boaters to respect the wishes of these more remote communities.

Following the Scottish Government Routemap guidelines limited leisure and commercial boating resumes on 3rd July with a further reopening of marine tourism expected on 15th July along with wider tourism and hospitality businesses across Scotland.

Speaking about the campaign, James Allan CEO of RYA Scotland said.

“Scotland has some of the best sailing grounds in the world and we have seen some of the best spring sailing weather in years lost to lockdown so the changes to the restrictions on Friday are hugely anticipated.”

“Right now, we are keen that everyone across Scotland’s boating community gets one clear message, so I am really pleased that we are closely partnering with Sail Scotland, Wild Scotland and British Marine Scotland to shout about #RespectTheDestination

“Whatever your craft, wherever you are planning to go, Covid-19 has not gone away and we need to remain mindful of the impact of our presence as visitors in small local communities and coastal and island communities.”

“#RespectTheDesintation is about being considerate of others and giving thought to how they might feel about us visiting. Our choice of destination is always someone else’s home and we are the visitors, we should always respect that.  It is also about doing our bit to help restart those small economies that depend so much on us coming to visit.  Where possible, we are encouraging the boating community to shop locally and contribute to the local economy.”

RYA Scotland has produced the following video to support the campaign and promote safe sailing as people return to the water as lockdown is eased.


For more information contact


Safe Sailing Guidelines are available on Sail Scotland post at

RYA Scot

land Return to Boating

Scottish Government Coronavirus (COVID-19): tourism and hospitality sector guidance


Sail Scotland: Sail Scotland is a membership organisation that promotes and markets sailing in Scotland to international and UK markets. The organisation works closely with the Scottish Tourism Alliance, VisitScotland and the Scottish Government representing the interests of commercial operators across the charter, fully inclusive sailing holiday, sailing schools and marinas & moorings. Sail Scotland has is an STA Council member and sits on the Scottish Government Scottish Tourism Recovery Taskforce. @sailscotland

RYA Scotland: RYA Scotland is the Sport Governing Body recognised by the Scottish Government and sportscotland to represent for all forms of dinghy and yacht racing, motor and sail cruising, RIBs and sports boats, windsurfing, canal boats, and personal watercraft.  We refer to these disciplines collectively as ‘boating’. Our purpose is to promote and protect the interests of the 226,000 people engaged in boating activity in Scotland.

British Marine Scotland: British Marine is the trade association for the UK leisure, superyacht and small commercial marine industry, run by the industry for the industry. Currently representing 12 regional associations, 16 Group Associations and around 1600 members across the UK marine supply chain. These include the Superyacht sector, chandlers, boatbuilders, brokers, suppliers of equipment for yachts and motorboats, sailing training and operators of marinas & boatyards both coastal and inland. British Marine also promotes career opportunities in the marine industry and advice and assistance through their Environment, Boating Facilities, Training and Technical teams. British Marine are also the proud organisers of Southampton International Boat Show, One of the world’s leading boat shows.

Wild Scotland: Wild Scotland is a membership organisation representing the Wildlife, Activity and Adventure Tourism Sector in Scotland.  The association represents a diverse range of operators who offer everything from wilderness walking holidays and mountain biking tours to wildlife watching boat trips and bushcraft activities. Members commit to delivering best practice and offer some of the most inspiring experiences that Scotland has to offer. The organisation was first established in 2003 and later in 2011 merged with Activity Scotland.


Awakening the Giant Marine Tourism Strategy 2015-2020 set out to drive “visitor expenditure for sailing from £101m to £145m and increase the overall economic value of the sector from £360m to over £450m by 2020” and there has been notable progress. By 2016 the visitor expenditure had reached £131m[1] and the overall contribution of the sector – Gross Value Add (GVA) – in 2017/18 reached £411m[2]. Whilst some businesses have reported a dampening effect on activity since the UK voted to leave the European Union, these mid-period indicators provide a strong endorsement of the impact of the strategy.

There is a wealth of other evidence to indicate marked progress in the sector too. At a regional level a mid-period review[3] of Highlands and Islands investments indicated that £1.5m of public funding drove £8m in investments (over 5: 1 leverage ratio) which had created 22 FTE jobs and £1.43m of new turn over by September 2018.

The EKOS research Sailing Tourism in Scotland – published in 2016 provides another, more detailed, view on part of the sector. The headline indicator is that sailing tourism drove output of £131m in 2016 with 30% coming from non-Scottish visitors.

[1] Sailing Tourism in Scotland, EKOS, 2016

[2] Economic Benefits of UK Boating Tourism, 2017-18, British Marine

[3] HIE support to Marine Tourism Projects HIE, 2015-2018



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