Marine tourism industry membership group Sail Scotland has today (Thursday July 23) launched a new web-based platform to better connect local businesses with visiting leisure craft, yachts and cruising vessels.
The new scheme promotes the purchase of local seafood, fresh food, arts and crafts but also in a manner that in light of Covid-19 respects the wishes of communities regarding visitors stepping ashore at destination ports, anchorages and harbours.
The portal promotes a range of produce including:
- Beer wines and spirits
- Local Seafood
- Fresh Foods, Meats, Bakery, Dairy, Takeaway, Groceries
- Household, Arts, and Crafts.
The scheme is in response to the recent phase of the Scottish Government Coronavirus (COVID-19): tourism and hospitality sector guidance that will see a further opening of tourism activities across Scotland.
Tourism Secretary Fergus Ewing said: “As we see the further reopening of our tourism and hospitality sectors, I am delighted that Sail Scotland are introducing their Shop to Ship initiative. It recognises the opportunities for cross-selling food and drink that tourism delivers, often in our most remote areas.
"It also enables individual businesses and their host communities to be recognised as welcoming destinations, with the processes tailored precisely to local circumstances and built in from the beginning. It’s also a part of the wider work, across a range of partners, to encourage everyone to responsibly and safely enjoy the health and wellbeing benefits of being close to or on Scotland’s ‘blue’ spaces, especially during this Year of Coasts and Waters.”
Alan Rankin Chief Executive of Sail Scotland said, “In response to the crisis brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic Sail Scotland has opened a FREE to list web directory to enable shore-based producers and retailers to gain valuable business, selling to visiting yachts. This pilot initiative is aimed to enhance the sailing experience and offer vital sales to local coastal and island businesses.”
The further easing of lockdown will allow yachts and boats to visit remote areas and island communities. The Safe Sailing Guidelines published by Sail Scotland as part of the national framework for a recovery in tourism asks visiting yachts to Respect the Destination by planning ahead, making a considered arrival and thinking local.
Sail Scotland recognised that no two destinations are the same, so the platform aims to connect the producer and the consumer as easily as possible in a way that suits local wishes.
Fiona Richmond, Head of Regional Food at Scotland Food & Drink, said: “The effective closure of Scotland’s tourism industry has had a huge impact on our food and drink producers, many of which relied on a thriving tourism and hospitality sector. With restrictions beginning to unwind and businesses seeking to find new ways of working, it’s great to see innovative initiatives like the Shop to Ship Marketplace, which provides a fantastic digital platform for local businesses to reach new customers."
Alan Rankin added. “The sailing season has been greatly impacted by Covid-19 with commercial charter operators and shoreside businesses facing a short period to generate turnover. We hope this platform will help to assist businesses across the marine tourism sector in what are very difficult times.”
The Shop to Ship campaign will be promoted widely by Sail Scotland, Scotland Food and Drink, destination groups and user social media channels to the rural business network and marine tourism users. The platform is available for businesses to register at https://www.sailscotland.co.uk/registration
- Supplier/producer logs in to Sail Scotland Shop to Ship registration page to register their business. This process automatically provides supplier with a FREE associate membership of Sail Scotland. https://www.sailscotland.co.uk/registration
- Once registered and approved the business will appear within a directory listing, pinned to a map of Scotland linking to their business and have a self-editing page linking directly back to their business. https://www.sailscotland.co.uk/shop-to-ship/
- On approval the business will be able to self-edit a business page to promote:
- Availability of product for sale, price, terms and direct link back to their website or telephone number.
- The link back to the business allows the supplier to secure the sale and to describe the safe collection arrangements that must be adhered to by the yacht crew. This can be a safe collection point that has been agreed with any harbour/moorings operator or community group.
- Local collection: Local arrangements will be confirmed but are expected to be around:
- It is expected the yacht will give the supplier an estimated time of arrival and then confirm safe arrival when anchored or moored.
- The supplier can then deliver to the designated safe pick up point and advise yacht of delivery. In many cases this will be visual to the yacht.
- Once the supplier is clear of the area the yacht can send crew over by rowing boat to collect the goods from the safe zone and then immediately return to the yacht.