Caledonian MacBrayne has teamed up with VisitScotland in a new nationwide ticket-selling initiative.
From today, the Scotland-wide network of 84 VisitScotland Information Centres (VICs), which welcome around 3.5 million visitors per year, will for the first time sell ferry tickets and book vehicles on all of CalMac’s award-winning sailings.
The ticketing agreement is the latest partnership between VisitScotland and the ferry operator, which provided 10,000 free ferry tickets in support of VisitScotland’s sell-out Big April Adventures promotion which has formed a key part of the Year of Natural Scotland 2013.
Cathy Craig, head of marketing and e-commerce at CalMac, said: “This agreement with VisitScotland is one of many initiatives we are working on to improve our visitor experience.
“It means anyone can buy a ticket and book a ferry at whichever VIC they happen to be in, instead of having to plan ahead and buy tickets online or wait until they had arrived at one of our ports.
“In addition to allowing visitors in any part of Scotland, with little or no notice, to plan a ferry trip, it also allows us to target visitors who have no firm plans or itinerary and who might choose to take a ferry trip on an impulse or as the result of a recommendation from another visitor.”
Mike Cantlay, chairman of VisitScotland, said: “One of the driving parts of the visitor experience is ease of access, so I’m delighted that CalMac has enabled us take bookings and sell tickets on their behalf.
“It is also represents a fantastic step forward as we continue to celebrate the Year of Natural Scotland, for which Scotland’s islands are a key focus.
“We want to get as many people out to our magnificent island’s this year and by having this new agreement in place, it gives us the chance to inspire even more visitors to get out there and experience them.”