A record-breaking Easter for the islands

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West coast ferry operator CalMac has reported a record breaking Easter weekend as visitors flocked to visit island destinations.

All in all passenger numbers were up 62 per cent on last year’s holiday break from 69,549 to 112,616. This is also 24 per cent up on the previous record set in 2017.

Largs-Cumbrae recorded the biggest year on year increase of over 200 per cent, with total visitors to the island over the four-day period reaching over 29,000 or 20 visitors for every local resident.

‘The good weather over the Easter weekend undoubtedly would have contributed to the increase, but nonetheless the figures continue to prove the growing popularity of our island destinations, which is great news for the local economies we support,’ said CalMac managing director, Robbie Drummond.

‘Tourism is the lifeblood of many of our communities and we are now sailing more frequently than ever before to bring valuable visitors’ pounds to our islands.’

The Isle of Gigha also proved popular with a 100 per cent increase in traffic with more than 1500 visiting over the weekend dwarfing the local population of just 140, while visitors to Arran almost doubled last year’s numbers.

CalMac is the UK’s largest ferry company last year carrying more than 5.2 million passengers on its fleet of 33 vessels across 27 routes. It also operates 27 harbours across the west and east coasts.

All in all passenger traffic was up on 21 of the company’s 27 routes this Easter.