Cruise Ship At Berth Looking North 14 04 221 Credit SPA Resized

Cruise market opportunities highlighted at Stornoway event

Published: 06/12/2022

An event will be held in Stornoway tomorrow (Wednesday 7 December) to give businesses in Lewis and Harris the chance to learn how to unlock the potential of cruise tourism.

The free event, held at Lews Castle, sold out quickly to more than 100 people, following high demand. It is organised by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) in partnership with Stornoway Port Authority (SPA) and Outer Hebrides Tourism.

With representatives on hand from VisitScotland, SPA, HIE, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar and Outer Hebrides Tourism, delegates will have the chance to learn more about the destination management and how to take an excursion idea to the next level.

Alex Macleod, chief executive of SPA will provide an overview of the cruise industry and an update on the Deep Water Port. The major development will establish the town as the only port in the northwest of Scotland where large ships can berth alongside. It will enable the islands to realise their full potential as a perfect location for UK cruise itineraries.

The development, which is due to be completed in time for the 2024 season, is expected to bring a major boost to the economy of the Outer Hebrides by bringing more visitors than ever before to Lewis and Harris to experience the area’s landscape, history, nature and Gaelic heritage.

David Selby, previously managing director of Thomson Cruises, will provide a cruise line perspective, shining a light on why cruise ships choose to go to certain ports.

Nick Robshaw, Director of Shore Excursions, will talk about harnessing opportunities and how to engage with the cruise industry. There will also be speakers from local businesses who have adapted their products to benefit from the cruise market.

Kathleen Stewart, head of enterprise support at HIE Innse Gall, said: “The development of the Deep Water terminal in Stornoway offers significant opportunities for businesses and communities in Lewis and Harris. The islands are incredibly popular destinations and this event will help to unlock potential within the cruise industry and maximise opportunities for local businesses and communities.”

Donald Crichton, chair of Comhairle nan Eilean Siar’s Sustainable Development Committee, said: “This event will provide local businesses and communities with an insight into the needs and wants of the cruise industry by engaging with the enterprises to allow them to sustainably harness the economic value of the local cruise sector.”

Alex MacLeod, chief executive of Stornoway Port Authority, said: “The new Deep Water Terminal will enable Stornoway to welcome the world to our islands to fully enjoy their unique hospitality, culture and history. It also represents a major investment in our infrastructure to serve the cruise industry and other sectors. I am looking forward to discussing the transformative change that this project will bring to the Outer Hebrides alongside many of our partners at the upcoming cruise event in Stornoway.”

Find out more about the Outer Hebrides cruise market

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