Animal attraction brings in £65 million a year from visitors

WILDLIFE tourism is worth £65 million to the economy and helps sustain more than 2,700 jobs, according to a study.

Academics found that 1.12 million trips are made each year to areas of Scotland specifically to enjoy the wildlife.

The Highlands and Islands are the main draw, with Loch Lomond and the Trossachs second. The research was carried out by Bournemouth University, assessing land, coast and sea in a report for the Scottish Government.

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Inland wildlife has a net impact of 27 million and supports 1,136 jobs, marine wildlife brings in a net 15 million and supports 633 jobs and coastal wildlife attracts 24 million and provides 995 jobs, the report found.

Tourists spend 276 million but, taking into account jobs, income, accommodation and the supply chain, the net impact is about 65 million.