December 6th 2016

The cruise industry is predicting another bumper season for Scottish ports in 2017, following a seventh successive record year.

Industry marketing body Cruise Scotland said cruise calls climbed by 35 to 676 in 2016, while passenger numbers rose by 5.3 to about 484,000.

A total of 808 ships have been booked to call in 2017, 19.5 up on this year.

Cruise Scotland is also expecting the number of passengers to climb to more than 650,000.

The organisation said next year's visits were expected to be worth more than £72.5m to the Scottish economy.

'Tremendous potential'

Cruise Scotland chairman Andrew Hemphill said: "The expectations for next year will mean that since 2010, the organisation's first full year, ship numbers, passengers and their spend will all have more than doubled.

"The success in persuading operators to include Scotland in their itineraries in a highly-competitive global market is very much a team effort by our members and support services.

"There is tremendous potential for more in a growth industry, through sustained promotion and quality product."

Cruise Scotland's port members include Glasgow (Greenock), Oban, Portree, Stornoway, Kirkwall, Lerwick, Aberdeen, Montrose, Dundee and Edinburgh.

Other members include two ground handling agents and five companies from the service sector.

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