Highland locations have more tourism workers than anywhere across the UK

The rugged wilds of Scotland draw in many visitors. Picture: Ian McCracken
The rugged wilds of Scotland draw in many visitors. Picture: Ian McCracken
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Scotland’s sparse regions have the highest proportion of people working in tourism in the UK - beating the likes of Blackpool in England, according to new statistics.

The latest figures from the Office for National Statistics show the places to be if you want a job in tourism is Lochaber, Skye and Lochalsh, as well as Arran and Cumbrae and Argyl and Bute.

This map from ONS shows Scotland's west coast and parts of the Highlands have the higest proportion of people working in tourism in the UK. Picture: ONS

This map from ONS shows Scotland's west coast and parts of the Highlands have the higest proportion of people working in tourism in the UK. Picture: ONS

Meanwhile, the Orkney Islands are also challenging at the top of the list.

ONS statistics showed that the number of jobs in tourism has increased.

More than 17 per cent of Scots in some areas were employed in the sector. Food and beverage made up the biggest proportion of employment boost

In total 17.29 per cent of the jobs in the Scottish regions of Lochaber, Skye and Lochalsh; Arran and Cumbrae; and Argyll and Bute were in the tourism industries, followed by 16.36 per cent in Blackpool and 15.49 per cent on the Orkney Islands.

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In contrast, just 4.92 per cent of people work in tourism in Bedford.

New data, released on Wednesday by the ONS and illustrated on a map, also revealed an increase of around 310,000 jobs in tourism between 2009 and 2014.

An increase in the number of food and beverage jobs has been the biggest contributor to this growth in the number of jobs.

Overall, tourism employment has increased by close to 19 per cent from 2.66million in 2009 to 2.97million in 2014.

Industry groups included in the new statistics include accommodation, food and beverage, passenger transport, and cultural, sports and recreation activities.

There has been an increase in the number of jobs across the board for each of the sectors.

The biggest increase, with approximately 170,000 new jobs created, is in the food and beverage sector, followed by cultural, sports and recreation activities with around 83,000 new jobs.

Lochaber, Skye and Lochalsh; Arran and Cumbrae; and Argyll and Bute also had the highest proportion of roles in food and beverage and accommodation in the tourism sector.

A breakdown of the figures for 2014 from the ONS also showed that people aged between 20 and 24 were most likely to work in tourism.

The only exception is London, where those aged between 30 to 44 make the majority.

Education appeared to be a factor as those working in tourism are less likely to have a degree or higher education compared to those working in other industries.

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