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Tourism companies urged to target £900 million adventure travel market in Scotland

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A new guide has been launched to help tourism companies capitalise on an expected 70% increase in people taking part in ‘adventure travel’ in Scotland over the next three years.

The ‘Adventure Travel in Scotland’ guide has been published by Tourism Intelligence Scotland, as part of its ‘Opportunities for Growth’ series, aimed at helping tourism companies make the most of new and emerging opportunities in the sector.

Recent figures show that more than 3.2 million adventure holiday trips were made in Scotland in 2008, generating almost £900 million of spending.  The guide will support tourism businesses who have an interest in the fast-growing adventure travel market and is packed full of intelligence and practical tips to help them stay one step ahead.

Adventure travel includes adventure sports and mountain biking, but also walking and wildlife watching. By accessing the guide, businesses can find out all they need to know about the sector in Scotland including: facts and figures about the market; what the adventure tourism product in Scotland looks like; who comes to Scotland for an adventure and what they’re looking for; how they book; the emerging consumer trends and how these will affect adventure travel in the future; top marketing tips to help operators attract more adventure travelers to their business; plus a range of inspirational case studies from some of Scotland’s top activity and accommodation providers.

Julie Franchetti, Tourism Innovation Manager at Scottish Enterprise said: “With demand for adventure holidays growing both in Scotland and abroad as visitors look for more varied and active travel experiences, adventure travel is set to become one of our fastest growing niche markets and businesses need to be prepared.

“In the current economic climate, tourism businesses need to continue to look at new ways to innovate and grow their business and this guide will give them the knowledge and the tools to make the most of these new opportunities and ensure they meet, and exceed, the needs of these adventurous travelers.”

Top tips for businesses include supplying route maps to walkers and cyclists to help them plan their day; being flexible with meal times and supplying picnics/packed lunches with high energy foods; having details of retailers and opening hours to hand in case people need to source extra equipment; and using dynamic visuals and photography in promotional material to provide a compelling case for adventure travellers to book.

Paul Easto, Director of adventure travel company Wilderness Scotland, said: “Good market intelligence is essential to any business and it is great to see the new Adventure Travel Guide. The guide should prove useful for all businesses with an interest in the adventure travel market from activity providers to accommodation. For Scotland to thrive as an adventure travel destination, it is fundamentally important that all aspects of the tourism supply chain understand the specific needs and expectations of this market.”

‘Adventure Travel in Scotland’ is available to businesses who register at

The launch of the guide is the latest initiative from Tourism Intelligence Scotland ( TIS) , a joint venture developed by Scottish Enterprise, Highlands & Islands Enterprise and VisitScotland, in partnership with the tourism industry, to stimulate growth and innovation in tourism. TIS has recently entered an exciting phase of growth enabling it to provide an enhanced range of market intelligence resources for tourism businesses. These resources, which include the regular ‘Ear to the Ground’ newsletter, information on news and events, plus access to the latest research and intelligence, are free to businesses that register their details with TIS.

Media enquiries to Gillian Harrower, Tourism Intelligence Scotland, Tel. 01738 860523, E: [email protected]

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