With an estimated 250,000 stargazers in the UK it is hardly surprising that astro-tourism is on the increase.
With its dark skies and low levels of light pollution, Kintyre is one of the few places in mainland Britain with near perfect stargazing conditions.
West Kintyre Stargazers is keen to tap into this market and, this Sunday, 30th June, has invited Steve Owens to talk to local tourism businesses – and of course any interested stargazers – on how astro-tourism can benefit rural communities such as Kintyre.
Before anyone gets over-excited, we’re not talking about any ‘Beam me up Scotty’ adventures.
Steve Owens is an astronomer and dark skies consultant as well as being the author of Stargazing for Dummies. Formerly manager of Glasgow Planetarium, Mr Owens now works as a freelance, helping communities around the world set up dark sky parks.
He was instrumental in gaining dark sky status for Galloway Forest Park in the south west of Scotland, Sark in the Channel Islands and Exmoor National Park.
A ‘dark sky’ area is one where people can see views of the night sky and the milky way. Sadly less than 10 percent of people, living in built up areas, can see the Milky Way.
Kintyre is the perfect location, and over the winter, West Kintyre Stargazers run monthly events highlighting just how exciting looking up at the sky can be.
From identifying constellations to astro-photography, the group has brought this relatively new tourism concept to a new audience.
And now you can get involved too.
If you work in the tourism industry in Kintyre, from accommodation to event planning get yourself along to The Putechan hotel at Bellochantuy on the west Kintyre coast on Sunday evening and find out how astro-tourism can have a positive impact on your business.
The event starts at 5.00pm, entry is £5 – or £2.50 for members of West Kintyre Stargazers – and there is buffet at £5 for everyone.