Scotland’s famous blend of landscapes, rivers and lochs has helped the country win the bidding to host the Adventure Travel Trade Association’s (ATTA’s) 2010 Adventure Travel World Summit.
Early October 2010 will see more than 500 thrill-seekers in the form of ATTA delegates descend on Aviemore at the foot of Scotland’s Cairngorm Mountains to network, share best practice and find out first-hand what Scotland has to offer, netting the local area an expected £1 million cash injection in the process.
Scotland has numerous white-water courses to raft; thousands of miles of rugged mainland and island coastlines of coves and bays which are ideal for sea-kayaking exploration and expeditions; a growing number of walking routes dotted throughout the country; and thousands of square miles of wild lands, which offer the seasoned adventurer one of the few remaining authentic adventure experiences in Europe.
In addition, the pastime of “Munro-bagging”, hiking to the summit of every one of Scotland’s 283 main mountain summits of 3,000ft or more, has become increasingly popular with UK-based outdoors enthusiasts in the past 20 years. (International enthusiasts also attempt the challenge, but since it takes people anywhere from three months to decades to bag all the Munros, the geographical location of their homes creates a challenge of its own.)
Die-hard Munro afficionados also try to get to the summits of 227 further subsidiary “tops” of more than 3,000ft on the main mountains. The hardest to conquer, because it is the only one which requires a graded rock climb in order to ascend to the summit, is the Inaccessible Pinnacle (known colloquially as the “In Pinn”) of the mountain Sgurr Dearg in the jagged Cuillin range on the Isle of Skye.
For information on taking holidays in Scotland, go to www.visitscotland.com. For press releases, tourism statistics and frequently asked questions, go to the site of Scotland’s official tourism body, VisitScotland, at www.visitscotland.org.
VisitScotland is working with the country’s tourism industry and other partners to achieve a 50 per cent growth in tourism revenues for Scotland by 2015. Tourism employs 200,000 people in Scotland in 20,000 diverse businesses. Almost 16 million tourists a year take overnight trips to Scotland. The industry generates over £4 billion of revenues annually and supports around 9 per cent of employment in Scotland (13 per cent in the Highlands).
A year-long celebration of Scottish culture, heritage and some of the many great contributions Scotland has given the world is taking place in Scotland this year. For more on Homecoming Scotland 2009, visit www.homecomingscotland.com.