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The benefits and volume and value of country sports tourism in Scotland


The aims of the report were to describe the nature of shooting and fishing activities, the attitudes of providers and participants, the volume and value for Scotland, and the economic impact. The report assesses Scotland’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats as a destination for country sports tourism.


The research consisted of online questionnaire surveys of participants in country sports and of providers of country sports opportunities, carried out in 2012/2013.


The research found that shooting, stalking, and fishing make a significant contribution to the Scottish economy. A total of 910,000 visitor nights were spent in Scotland in 2013 for country sports tourism, resulting from 270,000 trips, with a total expenditure of £155 million. 4,400 paid full time equivalent jobs are supported by the expenditure of visitors on country sports in Scotland - 2,600 in shooting and stalking, and 1,800 in fishing. The direct Gross Value Added (GVA) attributable to the country sports activities of overnight visitors to Scotland is £50 million, with £21 million generated by shooting and stalking and £29 million by fishing. Although the main market is England (60% of visitors), the Scottish market accounts for just under a third of participants. The other main markets are Europe and North America. Activity in Scotland has by and large stayed the same for the majority of providers over the past five years. In terms of future growth the shooting stakeholders and providers were uncertain of prospects, although they were of the general view that the sector would see growth in the number of participants over the next five years. Just over a quarter of providers thought fishing in Scotland overall would increase over the next five years, four in ten considered that activity would stay the same while about a third thought there would be a decline. The higher ends of the shooting and fishing markets were felt likely to be less subjected to economic uncertainties compared to the middle and lower ranges.


In terms of shooting, some of the weaknesses that could be addressed for stakeholders and providers include dealing with the regulatory environment on the stock of quarry, conservation and rural access, the technology and bookings and management, and the general impacts of rising costs. For fishing, the key disadvantages highlighted were the decline and vulnerability of fish stocks, the quality and variety of fish, value for money, and the impact of regulations. The fish stocks in particular were adversely impacted upon by netting in rivers and at sea and by aquaculture, lice, and seals.

Author PACEC
Published Year 2015
Report Type Research
  • Enterprise
    Sector-level support
  • Equity
    Rural Development
  • Sectors