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Monday, 16/Jul/2007

Islay and the Low Cost Airlines

Mark Reynier of Bruichladdich seems to be quite busy talking with the press at the moment: In today's edition of The Herald he's answering questions in an interview titled Distilling the essence of island life. But as I had already mentioned it in my Pownce Islay linkblog early this morning this interview is not going to be topic of this entry. No, instead I'm going to bring up an interesting aspect of the impact of low cost airlines and low cost flights on Islay tourism.

Via the Rocks Off Whiskyblogg from Sweden I found a report by Bent-Göran Kronstam in Dagens Nyheter about Single Malt Whisky, Islay and Swedish tourists (at least that's what I think it is about). It quotes Mark Reynier:

THANK GOD for Ryan Air, säger Mark Reynier på Bruichladdich och får det att låta mer äkta än varje tänkbar reklamfilm för lågprisflyget.

While flying to and from Islay is still very expensive compared to other flights (there are no low cost flights so far) there is an impact of the rise of the low cost airlines on Islay: Since the introduction of low cost flights between Sweden and Scotland there has been a significant increase of Scandinavian visitors to Islay. Single Malt Whisky and in particular Islay Single Malts are very popular in Sweden, the event of cheap travel has made it much more accessible to them. Whisky lovers from Sweden and other parts of Scandinavia can now quickly and cheaply travel to Scotland and then on to Islay, doubling the number of visitors compared to before.

The money they save on the flights they can then spend on Islay, which is mostly welcome for the distilleries and the tourist industry. It also has other consequences, but I'll leave that for another entry.

PS: There's some help for Swedish visitors available on How To Pronounce Islay Malts. Yes, it's in Swedish.

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