New funding for tourism could open up a new visitor market for St Andrews and the East Neuk.
CruiseForth has been awarded £13,500 for its Project Inspire campaign aimed at promoting cruise passenger tourism opportunities in east central Scotland, including the River Tay.
St Andrews is already a popular destination for day visitors, and bringing cruise passengers into Fife from ships docked at Dundee could significantly boost visitor numbers.
At present passengers on cruise ships calling in to Dundee are only offered trips north of the Tay, but St Andrews is as close to the harbour as Glamis Castle, one of the destinations on offer.
Patrick Laughlin, of St Andrews Partnership, is delighted with the news: “Dundee already welcomes around 10 cruise ships and year, and the good news is that they are looking to increase that and that presents even more opportunities for St Andrews and north east Fife.
“We will be looking to work closely with CruiseForth and tour operators to make passengers aware of what we can offer – golf, of course, but two distilleries and a host of other destinations.
Ken Dalton, chairman of the BID St Andrews steering group, said the BID would be keen to engage with the cruise operators: “There is a lot of interest here for passengers,” he said, adding that the BID would: “want to see whether they would introduce regular day trips to the area.”
Local councillor Brian Thomson promised: “I hope more can be done to attract cruise ship passengers, I will be discussing the potential further with council officers.”