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Holland looking north to Sail Scotland

Press Release   •  Feb 22, 2017 09:39 GMT

Crinan Canal, Argyll. Picture: Peter Sandground/Sail Scotland

Sail Scotland was given a warm welcome at the BOOT Holland Boat Show last week, promoting the best of Scottish sailing and marine tourism at the show for the first time.

BOOT Holland is an annual event attracting more than 30,000 visitors from across The Netherlands.

Sail Scotland was able to attend thanks to support from the VisitScotland Growth Fund and additional funding from Scottish Development International.

The Sail Scotland stand was positioned prominently to promote Scottish canals, sailing schools, holidays, yacht charters, marinas and boatyards to Dutch consumers for the very first time.

There were many highlights from visitors to the stand, from those who had have sailed around Scotland numerous times, to others planning their first trip for 2017.

Jelmer Fokkema and his wife Jacqueline were delighted to find the Sail Scotland stand at the show for the first time and said: “It is great to see Sail Scotland encouraging more Dutch visitors. It is 35 years since we have been to Scotland, but we are now returning with our two dogs on board, to cruise from the Clyde through the Crinan Canal to Rum, Skye, The Hebrides and Orkney. We cannot wait to return this summer.”

One visitor to the stand had visited Orkney and Shetland nine times, and is sailing north again this year on his 1848 Pilot Cutter Moonflower to visit again. Whilst another, who had previously visited the Clyde as a submariner, was looking forward to a trip through the Caledonian Canal this summer.

Gavin McDonagh, Chair of Sail Scotland, said:“It was great to see our Scotland stand at BOOT Holland Boat Show for the first time. The Netherlands is a key market for us, and one we have not targeted before, so it was a great opportunity to engage and attract new visitors to our waters - benefiting our members’ businesses and all of Scotland over the coming months and beyond.”

Sail Scotland Chief Executive, Daniel Steel, added: "The Sail Scotland presence at BOOT Holland was a great success, and another important step in positioning Scotland as a marine tourism destination of first choice. It is clear from the reaction that there is demand from the Dutch market to explore our coasts and canals, with great interest both in charters and in bringing their own boats north to our explore our world-class sailing offer.”

The Sail Scotland stand presence was supported by funding from Scottish Development International (SDI), and the VisitScotland Growth Fund.

It has been a busy first quarter for Sail Scotland, delivering activity at London International Boat Show and BOOT Holland since January. Following quickly on from this success, they will turn their attention to the Stockholm International Boat Show in March 2017, with another 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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