General HIE news

Experts to help OH businesses tap into booming cruise tourism market

Businesses in Lewis and Harris have the chance to learn how to unlock the potential of cruise tourism thanks to a dynamic workshop coming to Stornoway for the first time.

Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE), in partnership with Stornoway Port Authority and Outer Hebrides Tourism, is running two workshops designed to help businesses understand and maximise the market.

The workshops form part of HIE’s ‘Be Business Brave’ series.

The first, to be held on Thursday 7 November, is open to anyone interested in learning more about the sector and how it benefits Stornoway and the surrounding area.

Alex Macleod, chief executive of Stornoway Port Authority, will provide an overview of the cruise industry and an update on the Deep Water Port. 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.

With representatives on hand from VisitScotland, HIE, Outer Hebrides Tourism, Stornoway Port Authority and Business Gateway, delegates will have the chance to learn more about destination management and how to take an excursion idea to the next level.

A panel session, facilitated by workshop trainer David Glass will explore how the cruise industry works and attendees will be able to take part in a Q&A.

The second session ‘Preparing your product for the International Cruise Market’ will be held on Friday 8 November. This is aimed at businesses that are actively developing a new product or service for the cruise industry. With space for up to 12 separate businesses, representatives from each will be given a one-to-one session with an industry specialist, who will help them craft an international cruise tourism action plan.

Joanna Peteranna, senior development manager at HIE, said:

“This is the first time we have brought a Be Business Brave cruise tourism event to Stornoway and it feels like the perfect fit. Our sessions will help to unlock potential within this booming industry and there is something for everyone: whether you have a product you are looking to take to market, or you are simply interested in learning more about the opportunities the sector offers.”

Rob McKinnon, chief executive of Outer Hebrides Tourism, said: “The cruise sector is changing and it’s important that the experiences being offered to tourists reflects this when they set foot ashore. Lewis and Harris are incredibly popular destinations and these sessions will help businesses to adopt growth mindsets and shape the opportunities they offer. The Outer Hebrides has a strong tradition of being warm and welcoming and we want to be able to share the magic of the islands through excellent visitor experiences.”

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