Scottish country sports to try and dispel ‘elite’ image and attract more women –

Unveiling the survey and the blueprint, Sarah Troughton, the SCSTG’s chairman, said: “Our vision for Scotland’s fishing, shooting and stalking industry is that it will become the global country sport tourism destination of choice known for its sustainable, premium quality and diverse Scottish offering, unsurpassed by any other country in the world.”

The report said the industry’s strengths included the heritage and long tradition of country sports in Scotland, its reputation as a “quality” destination for shooting and fishing and spectacular and dramatic wild landscapes.

However, its weaknesses were assessed to be the perceived high cost, lack of “spare capacity” in the most expensive activities, “patchy” customer care, an ageing and predominantly male visitor profile and “negative perceptions of the weather.”

The blueprint said opportunities to expand the industry included focusing on the corporate market, cross-selling country sports packages with other activities such as golf and developing international markers to target demand particularly in the US and Scandinavia.

Threats to the future of country sports include the SNP’s reintroduction of sporting rates, adverse publicity that surrounds raptor poisoning, perceptions of elitism, international competition and declines in the numbers of some quarry such as Atlantic wild salmon.

The survey found three estates in the Grampian area accounted for 1,032 overnight stays with one estate in particular enjoying a full season attracting 600 overnight stays and the majority of visitors to the estate coming from Europe including Belgium, Holland and Spain.

The Angus Glens Moorland Group reported strong figures from several estates across the region with overnight stays totalling 927, while its equivalent body in Speyside said there were 1,011 overnight stays across six estates.

Figures from three estates in the Lammermuirs Moorland Group resulted in 811 overnight stays with one estate in particular reporting a good season, accounting for 616 overnight stays with international visitors coming from USA, France and Portugal.  

Figures for Tayside and Central Scotland were as healthy with several estates reporting 226 overnight stays in total attracting visitors from Holland and France.


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