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Scotland Recreational Boating and Marine Tourism Cross Party Group

Published on: 10 November 2021

Recreational Boating and Marine Tourism Cross Party Group

Recreational Boating and Marine Tourism Cross Party Group

Last month saw the return of the Cross Party Group on Recreational Boating and Marine Tourism. The group had to be re-registered following the Scottish Parliament election earlier this year and we are delighted to report that the Cross Party Group on Recreational Boating and Marine Tourism will again continue. Stuart McMillan MSP will continue as Convenor with a new vice-convenor Elena Whitham MSP (for Carrick, Cumnock and Doon Valley). 

The Group, which has been hugely beneficial for the leisure marine sector in Scotland, consists of MSPs and a range of organisations and individuals interested in marine tourism and the marine leisure sector. It provides a valuable forum for discussion and representation between the industry, MSPs and stakeholders and is also a direct link for us all to the Scottish Government. Discussions at CPG meetings have led to the development of the Scottish Marine Tourism Strategies, support for increased statistics and the sharing of information for new projects and have worked to benefit the industry and to raise the profile of the sector within Government. The leisure marine sector is now highly valued, contributing nearly £1/2 bn to the Scottish Economy, and seen as a sector that creates quality, skilled employment opportunities plus social and environmental benefits. The sector is about so much more than just sailing and boating activities and business - it can also be a pathway for education, training, careers, leadership, confidence building and health and well-being rewards. 

Attended by more than 30 people, including a number of MSPs, discussions at the recent meeting covered an update on the encouraging progress of the Giant Strides Partnership and around the high levels of leisure marine sector activity over the summer as well as initial discussions on how we progress positive aspects into coming years. There were also discussions around climate change and net zero agendas and how these issues are affecting/progressing within the sector as well as an overview of the work underway towards Outdoors Scotland, a strategy for outdoors tourism.

RYA Scotland will continue to supply secretarial support to the CPG.

British Marine Scotland Board members regularly attend CPG meetings so please let us know of any issues you would like raised on your behalf, or if you wish to attend, contact the secretary, admin@ryascotland.org.uk