Estates urged to expand country sports’ tourism

Landowners and tourism stakeholders in North East Scotland have been urged to think about expanding their country sports tourism offerings to boost the regional economy, at an event run by Scottish Land & Estates.

Country sports tourism is an industry worth over £240million per year to the Scottish economy, and recent statistics show that the total tourist expenditure in Aberdeenshire is worth £206 million.

The event, sponsored by rural land and property management experts Bell Ingram, was held at Finzean, last week.

The landowner organisation brought in expert representatives from Bell Ingram, The Scottish Country Sports Tourism Group, Kincardine Estate and Estate Life to highlight best practice.

Victoria Brooks of The Scottish Country Sports Tourism Group discussed the popular “Excellence in Country Sports Customer Care” course currently being run across Scotland for keepers, stalkers and ghillies and highlighted the need for excellent customer care. She highlighted Scotland’s growing popularity with visitors from USA, Scandinavia, France, Spain and Germany as well as from within the UK.

Andrew Farquharson, of the Finzean Estate Partnership chaired the event and stressed the importance of working with local communities, highlighting the role estates play in the local economy.

Delegate Neil McArthur commented: “This was a great opportunity to receive a first-hand account for how estates can create a more sustainable business with additional income streams and how this in turn can benefit the local area.”