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Who is the Giant Strides Strategy for?

This strategy is about much more than sailing!


Awakening the Giant sought to define marine tourism as an activity that is hosted or focused on the water. The perception, however, remains that marine tourism is synonymous with sailing. This is not the case. Marine tourism covers a rich collection of sports and recreational activities on coastal and inland waters. Some of the fastest-growing include kayaking and stand up paddleboards (SUPs) as well as coastal rowing and wild swimming.


There are important relationships between these activities too with many of the more accessible and lower cost experiences acting as gateways to others. The mix also addresses the variety of waters and conditions that can be experienced around Scotland with some activities lending themselves to windless still days on inland waterways and others coming into their own in wilder weather out at sea.

Giant Strides is written with a view to supporting the whole of this rich group. It has also been written with a number of audiences in mind; The first is the “ecosystem of support” that can help marine tourism to thrive. Since the publication of Awakening the Giant this ecosystem has changed considerably and so too has the way many of these organisations work. This strategy aims to inform and align this broad group of supporters to help to make sure that opportunities in Marine Tourism are supported. The ecosystem includes a wide variety of organisations across the public, private and third sectors who are working to support and develop businesses and communities across Scotland. It includes national agencies like Scottish Enterprise, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, South of Scotland Enterprise and VisitScotland as well as place-specific organisations like the Destination Marketing Organisations (DMOs). With the shift in emphasis of this plan it now also includes organisations like Scottish Natural Heritage, Scottish Environmental Protection Agency and Scottish Environment Link.

The strategy is also intended for Local Authorities and others who drive regeneration and development in communities across Scotland and the Islands. The strategy draws attention to the unique role marine tourism plays in driving multiple outcomes across the economy, society and the environment often in some of the most remote and fragile communities.


The strategy is also written for businesses, community groups and clubs who we hope to inspire and inform as they lay out their plans for the future. Navigating this support environment to bring those plans to life is challenging. This strategy has been written to equip this group with the language and understanding necessary to navigate it and to benefit from it. Whilst this strategy is not written directly for consumers, it is responding directly to changing customer expectations and trends, and the strategy does intend to mark Scotland out as a leader in meeting these expectations as well as being at the forefront of developing sustainable approaches fit for the challenges posed- by the climate and nature emergencies. In doing so the strategy aims to support the development of Brand Scotland and position Scottish Marine Tourism as an exemplar.

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