Cruise Ship At Berth Looking North 14 04 221 Credit SPA

Stornoway event to help businesses benefit from cruise market growth

Published: 26/02/2024

Wednesday 6 March event will help local businesses identify and make the most of new opportunities from the growing cruise ship tourism market.

An event in Stornoway on Wednesday 6 March will help local businesses identify and make the most of new opportunities from the growing cruise ship tourism market.

Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) has teamed up with Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, Stornoway Port Authority (SPA) and Outer Hebrides Tourism to host the ‘Outer Hebrides Cruise Market Opportunities’ event at Lews Castle.

The major development of the Stornoway deep water port makes it the only port in the northwest of Scotland where large ships can berth alongside.

The anticipated increasing numbers of visitors is expected to be a major boost to the Outer Hebrides economy. The event has been organised to help businesses make the most of these new opportunities.

Attendees will receive updates from SPA on plans for the first season of cruise passengers arriving at the new deep-water port, as well other developments to facilitate increased visitor numbers.

They’ll also hear from HIE, Business Gateway and VisitScotland about support available to help businesses and community enterprises benefit more from the cruise tourism market by developing and promoting products and services.

Kathleen Stewart, head of enterprise support with HIE’s Innse Gall team, said:

“The development of the deep-water terminal in Stornoway offers significant opportunities for businesses and communities in Lewis and Harris. This event will feature some of the destination readiness work that has been ongoing as well as how businesses and communities can maximise the commercial opportunities available to them from the increase in visitor numbers.”

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. This is an exciting time for Stornoway as the deep-water terminal will bring opportunities across the board for local businesses and the community.”

Sarah Maclean, Outer Hebrides Tourism chief executive, said:

“Outer Hebrides Tourism believe we will best achieve benefits from cruise tourism by working together and this event is a great opportunity to meet with other stakeholders and ask any questions you may have; we would encourage our members and any local business or organisation interested in what the cruise market has to offer to attend this pre-season event.”

VisitScotland will also be giving a presentation on crafting memorable experiences, how to merchandise and create a memorable experience for visitors and offering free retail chats on this topic prior to the event. These can be booked by contacting

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