During 2017, Scottish fieldsports will add over one million visitor nights to the country’s tourism sector, according to Robert Rattray, the head of CKD Galbraith’s Sporting Lets. He noted this will be an increase over previous years’ visitor statistics and will surpass the record set in 2013. During that season, fieldsports enthusiasts booked over 910,000 visitor nights to Scotland. Rattray stated that the recent exceptional grouse shooting seasons were a major contributor to the increase.
Scottish fieldsports are considered world class and the country sports sector is one of the main employment and economic sectors for rural areas. It was recently the topic of discussion at the Expo, as reported by the Fieldsports Magazine. VisitScotland chairman, Mike Cantlay, was among those discussing the industry during his visit to the Sporting Lets stand.
Over quarter of a million annual Scottish fieldsports trips
According to surveys, over 270,000 of the trips made to the country every year are for grouse shooting, deer stalking, or fishing. Many of these trips also include non-hunting activities, such as sightseeing, but the primary reason for the trip was to participate in country sports. These trips bring in over 155 million pounds every year and help support several sectors, in addition to country sports. These sectors include tourism, retail, and transportation.
Most of the visitors who stay overnight to engage in these sports are from England, some 60%, whilst only about ten percent of visitors are international. The other 30 percent is made up of domestic Scots visiting an area away from home.
In addition to the exceptional year the Scottish fieldsports industry is anticipating, Sporting Lets is also on track to have a higher-than-average year. As more and more people become interested in country sports, the demand for exceptional sporting opportunities has increased.
In addition to reaching out to local Scottish hunters and those from England, Sporting Lets has added focus to its international marketing. This marketing campaign reaches out to international fieldsports enthusiasts and illustrates what Scotland has to offer to both amateur and experienced men and women.
Scottish fieldsports offer first-class shooting, stalking and fishing opportunities
When asked about the coming year’s expectations, Rattray had this to say: “Scotland offers world class sporting opportunities and the number of country sports visitors each year reflects this. Country sport holds a vital position with the wider tourism industry and the rural economy in Scotland. It brings in approximately £155 million per year to the Scottish economy, with grouse shooting contributing a significant proportion of this figure.
With new flight routes to Edinburgh and Aberdeen airport recently announced, accessibility to some of Scotland’s most beautiful estates has never been better. Visitors from countries as wide ranging as Sweden, China, and India are attracted to the first-class shooting, stalking and fishing opportunities. They visit Scotland knowing not only will the trip be a successful one, but that the scenery will be breathtaking, creating a truly memorable trip that pulls them back year after year.”