Scottish sporting estates expect to defy downturn

The Scottish sporting industry generates �275 million each year in revenue. Picture: Getty
The Scottish sporting industry generates �275 million each year in revenue. Picture: Getty
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The £275 million Scottish sporting industry claims to be bucking the recession and is predicting a successful season.

• Scottish sporting industry expected successful season as visitors continue to flock

• Encouraging reports from industry that generates £275 million a year in revenue

The Sporting Lets agency, run by CKD Galbraith, believes that the season for 2013 will remain buoyant with continued strong demand for fishing, stalking and grouse shooting.

They claim many estates have deliberately set “sympathetic prices” that are attracting families who traditionally take expensive holidays abroad.

Robert Rattray, partner at CKD Galbraith and head of the firm’s Sporting Lets agency, said: “Given the economic circumstances, it is surprising that people are continuing to spend money, but that’s what we are finding.

“I think Scotland in particular, certainly for a lot of people south of the border, is quite a special place.

“They are keen to make an annual trip to Scottish estates and that in itself bucks a general trend.

“I also think a lot of the estate owners are being very sympathetic to the recession and have maintained prices at the same levels because they’re well aware there’s less money out there.”

He added: “With regards to the family market, we are finding that people’s aspirations are changing when it comes to booking a typical week’s family sporting lodge holiday.

“However, summer school holidays continue to be popular months and coincide with some of the best fishing, shooting and stalking. We have a strong core of regular tenants for these weeks, who understand that a Scottish lodge holiday not only caters for the whole family but also offers fantastic value for money.”

Mr Rattray said: “As many sportsmen and women start to contemplate this year’s sporting pursuits we must not forget the contribution it makes to the Scottish economy with recent estimates putting the revenues generated at some £275 million a year.”

“The 2013 salmon season has kicked off with encouraging reports from the likes of the Tay and lower Spey. Further north, the cold weather conditions have delayed the start of the main spring run which should start to build up as the weather improves in April and May.

“Grouse numbers have been generally very encouraging over the last three years with 2011 being one of the best years in recent history.”

The firm, being based in the heart of the grouse shooting country in Perthshire, offers grouse shooting on a number of moors in Scotland, and have found demand to remain strong for this year’s season, and continues to have a truly international appeal, attracting parties from all over the world for both walked up and driven shooting.

With the fishing season starting in earnest at the start of April and building up throughout the year ahead, CKD Galbraith has experienced continued demand from sportsmen and women from both home and abroad wishing to fish Scotland’s salmon rivers such as the Tay, Spey, Tweed and Dee.

Mr Rattray added: “We are able to offer wonderful salmon fishing on some of the lesser known but equally exciting and prolific rivers, such as those of the Outer Isles and the north west coast of Scotland.”

He said red deer stalking in Scotland also continues to attract sportsmen and woman from around the world, with the UK market continuing to provide the strongest demand.