Martime tourism spending results in a £3.7bn splash

Sailing in Scotland is one of the maritime activities adding billions to the economy. (Picture: Tony Hisgett/flickr.)

Sailing in Scotland is one of the maritime activities adding billions to the economy. (Picture: Tony Hisgett/flickr.)

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Messing about on the water - and spending time on the shore - are major boosts to the economy in Scotland.

Marine recreation and tourism spending is estimated to amount to £3.7 billion per year, according to a report published today (Wednesday, March 23).

The Scottish Marine Recreation and Tourism Survey shows that £1.3 billion of expenditure comes from specialist marine activities, including wildlife watching, sailing, kayaking, surfing and angling, while spending on general recreation and tourism, like coastal walks and cycling, amounts to £2.4 billion.

The survey looked at 23 different recreation and tourism activities undertaken at sea or taking place around the Scottish coastline.

Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs, Food and the Environment Richard Lochhead said: “Our seas are the jewel in Scotland’s natural crown.

“Marine tourism and recreation expenditure in Scotland amounts to £3.7 billion per year, supporting jobs, increasing participation in sports and recreational activities and showcasing Scotland as a world-class destination.

“This survey will help us understand more about the economic value of the sector and the requirements to support sustainable development of the sector.

See the full results at Scottish Marine and Recreation Tourism Survey.