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New research commissioned to identify growth opportunities for adventure tourism in Scotland

12 November 2014

Businesses are being urged to take part in a new study to assess the scale and potential of adventure tourism across Scotland.  Adventure tourism includes activities such as biking, watersports, snowsports, walking, climbing and wildlife watching.

Public and private sector partners, led by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE), have commissioned ekosgen, leading economic development consultants, and the Centre for Recreation and Tourism Research at the University of the Highlands and Islands to undertake the national research exercise to better understand the adventure tourism sector across Scotland.

Thought to be worth £760m to Scotland’s economy, adventure tourism is expected to grow substantially over the next decade.

With the most recent estimate suggesting around 600 businesses engaged in the sector, this research is a crucial first step which will help shape a range of interventions over the next 10 years designed to make Scotland one of the best places in the world to do adventure tourism.

The study, which will involve extensive consultation and survey work, aims to identify the scale of the sector and its opportunities for growth. It will also provide a better understanding of Scotland’s competitive advantage and how it is placed against some of the world’s top adventure tourism destinations.

The findings will inform strategy development and investment priorities for the sector and help partners to understand the best way of supporting adventure tourism businesses.

Partners in the project, which is led by HIE, are: VisitScotland, Scottish Enterprise, Scottish Development International and industry trade body the Scottish Tourism Alliance.

Take part

If you are interested in this research or would like to take part in the business survey, please get in touch with Carolyn Bell by email at or telephone 0845 644 5407.

To discuss with HIE, please contact Eilidh MacDonald or call 01463 244 320.

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