Hop Scots: Scottish islands passport may result in travel reductions | Travel

From “munro bagging” to finishing the West Highland Way, travellers to Scotland have at all times liked a problem. Now, with plans being drawn as much as for a Scottish islands passport, a brand new process for vacationers may very well be on the horizon: visiting the nation’s inhabited islands – 93 of them.

The Scottish islands passport scheme was proposed in a current report by regional transport physique the Highlands and Islands Transport Partnership (Hitrans).

Travellers can be inspired to gather a stamp for visiting every island, which may then be linked to travel reductions. It was impressed by Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way passport, which inspires guests to finish the two,500km route and gather 188 stamps alongside the best way.

The Wild Atlantic Way has proved profitable since its launch in 2014, attracting an estimated 1.three million guests final 12 months. Hitrans hopes a passport scheme may have the same influence on the Scottish islands, boosting tourism and supporting the “lifeline” transport companies to the distant islands within the course of.

Writing within the report, Hitrans partnership supervisor Neil MacRae stated the advertising and marketing potentialities across the idea had been “endless”.

“For example, the passport could be issued to everybody in Scotland to encourage them to visit as many of the islands as possible over their lifetime,” he wrote.

According to the 2011 census, Scotland has 93 inhabited islands with a inhabitants of 103,700, served primarily by ferry but in addition air companies. The passport scheme hopes to work in partnership with the totally different transport operators within the area, boosting native economies, whereas encouraging extra guests to the smaller and less-accessible islands.

Go toScotland’s Islands Visitor Survey exhibits that journeys to Shetland, Orkney and the Outer Hebrides have seen a 22% enhance since 2012-2014, which has introduced an additional £36.9m to native economies. It has voiced its assist for the passport thought.

A spokesperson for Go toScotland stated: “The Scottish islands passport idea is at a very early stage but we would be supportive of any initiative that brings more visitors to our islands, with a unique stamp to represent each individual island as a strong call to action.”

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