Summit discusses brexit impact on Scotland’s thriving cruise industry.
The potential impact of brexit on Scotland’s thriving cruise industry will be one of a range of key issues discussed at a summit in Edinburgh today.
Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing will meet with cruise industry operators and representatives to discuss how to continue to make Scottish destinations as attractive as possible and maintain industry growth in the future.
The summit comes as Cruise Scotland announce that an estimated 520,000 passengers disembarked at ports across Scotland in 2016, a 14.7% increase on last year. This follows an 14.8% increase 2014-15 and means that the industry has almost doubled in size since 2010 when there were around 268,000 passengers .
As well as acknowledging the efforts of the industry in sustaining this year-on-year growth, Mr Ewing will say that the Scottish Government is willing to listen and act upon issues threatening the industry. This includes any future UK Government actions which increase uncertainty over face to face passport checks for passengers at Scottish ports.
He will also call for clarity from the UK Government over the impact of Brexit on any future UK visa requirements for cruise passengers.
Mr Ewing said:
“Today’s figures show that our cruise industry is thriving, bringing increasing economic benefits and significant economic opportunities for businesses and jobs.
“However, the nature of the industry dictates that business planning must take place up to two years in advance, meaning the uncertainties facing most businesses are accelerated for the cruise industry. In particular the on-going uncertainty over the UK Government’s position on EU Freedom of Movement puts the growth of our cruise industry under real threat.
“We want to continue to welcome visitors from around the world for business or tourism purposes and we work closely with the cruise industry, tourism operators and our ports to make Scotland as attractive as possible for cruise operators and their passengers. I would like the UK Government to offer clarity over this issue. We will oppose any changes that could negatively impact on tourism and the benefits it brings to Scotland’s coastal communities and economies.”