As lockdown continues to be eased across Scotland, a joint plea has been made by marine tourism and sports groups for boaters and water users to have full consideration and respect for the destinations they plan to visit.
#RespectTheDestination has been launched by Sail Scotland, RYA Scotland, British Marine Scotland and Wild Scotland. The campaign will be promoted across social media channels to reach leisure and commercial boaters reminding them different arrangements, levels of service and local access controls may in place at popular sailing and boating destinations.
The key messages within the campaign are:
- Make sure the planned destination is open to visitors as there may be reduced services such as limited or no; fuel supply, water, showers, or step-ashore might not be welcomed.
- Some moorings may not yet be in commission and launching or landing places will have some form of hygiene regime.
- Approaching pontoons should be carried out after prior approval and allocation of a berth by the operator of the facility.
- Vessels anchoring or mooring should follow local access guidance.
- Consider wearing gloves or apply additional cleaning measures when launching and landing or handling mooring or berthing equipment.
- Crew and guests should adhere to local guidelines regarding ability to leave the vessel and go ashore.
- Consider wearing a facemask and, above all, respect local restrictions and controls.
- Local businesses can arrange supply of produce to visiting yachts. Check ahead and where possible buy local.
Sail Scotland CEO Alan Rankin said. “Through our dealings with a wide range of island and coastal businesses, moorings, harbours, commercial boat operators and destination groups it became clear different locations were moving at different speeds when it came to re-opening and welcoming visitors.”
“Marine tourism activities bring significant economic benefit to many rural locations and will play a vital role in recovery from the catastrophic impact Covid-19 pandemic has brought to these communities. Working with other industry partners we hope marine tourism is seen as a force for good and those taking to the water in the coming weeks put the wishes of communities foremost when planning trips.”
#RespectTheDestination emerged from the Covid-19 guidelines developed by Sail Scotland and RYA Scotland which reach across the commercial charter and leisure boating sectors respectively. These provide specific guidelines to operators and recreational boaters to comply with the Scottish Governments Covid Routemap. During the development of the documents and listening to coastal and island communities, the need emerged for a clear message for boaters to respect the wishes of these more remote communities.
Following the Scottish Government Routemap guidelines limited leisure and commercial boating resumes on 3rd July with a further reopening of marine tourism expected on 15th July along with wider tourism and hospitality businesses across Scotland.
Speaking about the campaign, James Allan CEO of RYA Scotland said: “Scotland has some of the best sailing grounds in the world and we have seen some of the best spring sailing weather in years lost to lockdown so the changes to the restrictions on Friday are hugely anticipated.”
“Right now, we are keen that everyone across Scotland’s boating community gets one clear message, so I am really pleased that we are closely partnering with Sail Scotland, Wild Scotland and British Marine Scotland to shout about #RespectTheDestination”
“Whatever your craft, wherever you are planning to go, Covid-19 has not gone away and we need to remain mindful of the impact of our presence as visitors in small local communities and coastal and island communities.”
“#RespectTheDesintation is about being considerate of others and giving thought to how they might feel about us visiting. Our choice of destination is always someone else’s home and we are the visitors, we should always respect that. It is also about doing our bit to help restart those small economies that depend so much on us coming to visit. Where possible, we are encouraging the boating community to shop locally and contribute to the local economy.”
RYA Scotland has produced the following video to support the campaign and promote safe sailing as people return to the water as lockdown is eased.