Whale of a time to boost Scottish tourist economy
Tourism: Plan to create sites for watching sea life could bring in business
A new scheme to create a network of whale-watching spots up and down the west coast could create jobs and boost the economy.
The Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust aims to establish a network of around 25 world-class sea life watching and heritage sites through a £175,000 grant.
The cash comes from the UK Government’s Coastal Communities Fund that encourages economic development in such areas.
Scotland would be promoted as one of Europe’s best destinations for spotting sea life in its natural habitat.
The plans have been slated for a summer 2019 launch.
Karl Stevens, Hebridean whale trail manager, said: “People currently visit Scotland for the landscapes, wildlife and culture – but not necessarily to see cetaceans.
“With the Hebrides being one of the best places in Europe to see these spectacular animals, we want to add them to the mix – and our research shows that the potential is huge.”
To maximise its potential Mr Stevens will look for spotting sites on Scotland’s western seaboard from the Clyde to Cape Wrath, even going as far west as St Kilda, though most will be on the isles.
The move has won the backing of David Adams
“The Hebrides is one of the best places to see these animals”
McGilp, VisitScotland regional partnerships director.
Mr Adams McGilp said: “This new Whale Trail will help cement Scotland’s reputation as one of the best places in the Europe to watch marine life, and provides a platform for local communities to come together and promote everything that makes the Hebrides such a unique and special place.”
MAKING A SPLASH: Humpback whales are among the star attractions for tourists flocking to the Hebrides
Whale trail officer Siobhan Moran and Karl Stevens
The playful nature of dolphins is a constant draw