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John Knox reports
"Number of trips to activity holidays has fallen"
 real 28k

Tuesday, 7 March, 2000, 07:37 GMT
Activity holidays fall
waterskiing
Watersports holidays have fallen in popularity
Independent reports on the activity holiday industry have found that Scotland is losing its allure.

The research comes barely three weeks after the latest official strategy for tourism was launched, with the specific aim of boosting specialist activity holidays like golfing, sailing and walking.

Golfers
Golf is an area Scotland must focus on
The research, commissioned by Scottish Enterprise from private consultants, showed that the number of trips had fallen along with the total revenue.

The reports - An Economic Review of Activity Holidays in Scotland since 1995 and a Study of Scotland's International Competitiveness in Activity Holidays - are to be discussed at a conference of holiday firms in Crieff.

Their findings include:
  • The number of trips made to Scotland for skiing, biking, watersports or other activity holidays fell from 1.5 million in 1993 to 1.2 million in 1997
  • Total spending was down from 255m to 235m
  • More people combined an activity with an ordinary sightseeing trip.

Snowboarder
Scotland also offers winter sports
The reports also say Scotland needs to understand its potential market better, to make more use of the internet for information and booking and learn lessons from countries such as Ireland and New Zealand.

A new 11m plan aimed at tackling many of these issues was unveiled last month by Enterprise Minister Henry McLeish.

He said he wanted to change the emphasis of the industry and generate an extra 500m for the economy.

High among his priorities were online booking, e-commerce and a new marketing campaign.

Measures announced also include the promotion of niche marketing such as business trips, golfing holidays and tracing family trees.

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16 Feb 00 |  Scotland
Tourism searches for its niche
16 Feb 00 |  Scotland
Ossian is jewel in tourism crown
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