Walking tourism makes £1.26bn for Scots economy

New research by VisitScotland has revealed that walking tourism generates up to £1.26 billion for the Scottish economy.

The research found that in 2015, four million trips by visitors from the UK included walking as an activity, with figures broken down into short walks (up to 2 miles) and long walks (minimum of 2 miles).

The latter increased by 18% on the previous year.

VisitScotland has created a video offering an exclusive bird’s eye view of the landscapes visitors can enjoy when walking in Scotland.

A Unique Perspective – Walking in Scotland was shot in the Cairngorms around Aviemore and includes views of the Green Lochan, Ruthven Barracks, the Highland Folk Museum, Loch Morlich and Loch an Eilein.

“From the West Highland Way to the Great Glen Way, the Hebridean Way to the John Muir Way, Scotland is famed for its long-distance walking routes, many of which pass through some of the country’s most beautiful landscapes,” said VisitScotland.

Walking is most popular with those aged 55-64 but millennials make up 26% of visitors participating in long walks.

Walking has also emerged as one of the most popular activity pages on the VisitScotland website, with “munro-bagging” viewed on average 68 times per day in 2016.

Malcolm Roughead, VisitScotland chief executive, said: “Scotland is an extremely accessible destination.

“The Walkers Welcome scheme and the Right to Access policy make it incredibly easy for outdoor enthusiasts to travel around the country.

“The growing interest in health and wellbeing presents a fantastic opportunity for Scotland to promote itself, not only through its inspiring landscapes but also through the health benefits of walking and being outdoors.

“VisitScotland continues to work with communities to showcase the rich assets, hidden gems and local stories in every region in Scotland.”