Friday, 7 March 2008

Wild Camping Economics 2

Good article across in Alistair's eBothy: Why you can wild camp north but not south of the border He points out that the walking industry is worth £438million (US Dollars) to the economy. The source,, states in full:

Walking is a major part of the Scottish tourist industry and is now worth £438 million a year, supporting thousands of jobs. Local communities all over Scotland are developing facilities for walkers. One fine example is the 6.2 mile (10km) Wildcat Trail around the village of Newtonmore in Strathspey in the Cairngorms National Park. This lovely walk encompasses riverside, forest and moorland. There’s a Wildcat Walking Centre in Newtonmore where you can find information on the trail and collect a certificate after completing it (always a plus!). The Wildcat Trail is popular with visitors and locals and over 5000 people walk it every year.

Walking is good news for the health of Scots and tourists alike. Consequently the Scottish Executive has launched a programme called Paths for All, to raise awareness of the amazing health benefits. For more information on the initiative, visit

The real incentive for all, however, must be the number of stunning, beautiful walks that freely give tourists access to our glorious Scottish countryside, wildlife and history.

I have no idea how many people wild camp for at least one evening. If it's 1%, then they bring in £4,380,000 per annum. Drop the figure to 1 in a thousand people, and that's still £438,000 per annum (£1,200 per day). People buy meals, need to get too and from the trail heads, top up on kit, get civilised, pay for petrol, send postcards. And possibly over a larger area than just the main tourist centres.

For the record, I did contact Visit Scotland (31 Jan 08) asking them if they had any information about wild camping tourism. At the time of posting, I hadn't received a reply.


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