Ferry operator CalMac has joined with partners across the west coast to offer whisky lovers a chance to make more of their distillery visits. The company sails to many islands and Highland areas with distilleries and this can now be combined with the new West Coast Whisky Pass, which offers a range of exclusive promotions and discounts.
Maggie Maguire, CalMac’s UK Tourism Development Manager, outlined the success of the new initiative at the recent ‚Taste for Tourism‘ summit in Oban.
“Whisky tourism is of growing importance and with our ferry routes covering three of the five main producing areas – Campbeltown, Islay and Highlands – we are ideally placed to help make visits as memorable as possible. Our Whisky Hopscotch Trail opens up some of our best known but remotest distilleries to whisky lovers through ferry travel and combining the Whisky Pass adds a new dimension to visitors‘ experience.”
The West Coast Whisky Pass was singled out by judges for its innovative approach recently when CalMac was crowned Best Ferry Operator at The Independent Travel Awards.
Passes are available at CalMac Tourshops, on board selected ships and at selected port offices. Holders benefit from a range of great value options and promotions from a range of whisky specialist partners including the Bon Accord Whisky Bar, Glasgow, Dramologist whisky tours plus more than a dozen distilleries up and down the west coast from Springbank in Campbeltown to Talisker on Skye.
Whisky accounts for 25% of all the UK’s food and drink exports and is an increasingly popular attraction in its own right for visitors too. According to VisitScotland, 20% of foreign visitors to the country visited a distillery during their trip. For visitors from Germany this rises to 43% and overall 1.1 million visits were recorded to distilleries in Scotland during 2013, an increase of more than 10% on the previous year.
“We look forward to getting more partners on board to develop the Whisky Pass further next year,” said Maggie.
For more information on the Whisky Hopscotch Trails and West Coast Whisky Pass see www.calmac.co.uk/whisky.