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Wildlife tourism generates significant income for the local economy

A survey of Wild Scotland members shows that wildlife tourism contributes a significant amount to the tourism economy in Scotland.

The survey asked members of the Scottish Wildlife Tourism Association, Wild Scotland about their turnover, number of visitors and plans for the future. Results showed that the organisation’s 70 members generated over £9million turnover each year. This equated to an average turnover of £227,000 per respondent.

Interestingly, the study also showed that the average spend per customer per trip was £258, which is significantly more than average visitor spending on other attractions, and reflects the tremendous range of prices that wildlife tourism activities offer.

Wild Scotland manager, Caroline Warburton commented, ‘the study really brings home the valuable contribution that wildlife tourism can make to the local economy. By providing wildlife watching activities, many of these coompanies providea reason for visitors to out outo rural locations and spend time there,rather than just driving through. There are an increasing number of people interested in watching wildlife, and a real opportunity to capitalise on this. We want to make sure that the contribution is recognised, but also to highlight the importance of watching wildlife responsibly and choosing a reputable operator, such as Wild Scotland members.’

Other figures from the report are:

  • Wild Scotland members directly support 840 jobs (496 FTE).
  • England and Scotland are by far the most important markets.
  • Over a third of respondents stated that their turnover was higher than the previous year.
  • 83% felt that the value of the wildlife tourism market in Scotland in real terms would increase or increase signifiantly in the next three years.

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