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Highland Life / News / Highland Council News / Great Glen Way walkers boost local economy by £1.5 million according to latest figures.

Great Glen Way walkers boost local economy by £1.5 million according to latest figures.

Issued: 29 Jun 2010

Figures collected from automated visitor counters along the Great Glen Way have revealed that in 2009, whole-way-walkers generated £1.5million to the local economy.

Each year the Great Glen Way Rangers continually assess data that is captured in four people counters on the Great Glen Way. The counters are located at each end of the Way at Fort William and Inverness and along the route at Tychat and Invermoriston.

Latest figures for 2009 have shown a 17.4% increase on all people counted using the Great Glen Way from 28,512 in 2008 to 33,476 in 2009.

On average it takes 6 days to complete the entire Great Glen way route and figures for whole-way-walkers show that in 2008 4276 people completed the entire route with a 41% increase to 6025 whole-way-walkers in 2009.

Results of Great Glen Way user surveys have informed the Rangers that on average whole-way-walkers say they spend £250 in a 6 day walk along the Great Glen.

Councillor Ian Ross, Chairman of The Highland Councils Planning, Environment and Development Committee said: "The £1.5 million estimated income generated by whole-way walkers along the Great Glen Way is a significant boost to our local economy. This also does not include the amount spent in small businesses along the Way though visits from locals and Highland day trippers. This income to the area is welcomed and is a further demonstration of the importance to the Highland economy of countryside access and our high quality environment."

Great Glen Way Manager, Lynda Dodd said: "In spite of the global recession we have had positive responses from businesses along the Great Glen Way with anecdotal evidence from some that takings were up by 15% in 2009 on the previous year."

Lynda added: "We have worked hard to achieve this success for the local economy. We took part in a joint marketing initiative with other Scottish long distance routes to attend the Outdoor Show at Birmingham fro 2008, 2009 and again in 2010; kept up local advertising and advertorials; promoted our Great Glen Ways DVD; and won a national tourism award which has all helped to encourage new and old route users to come and enjoy this majestic route in the Highlands."

To continue to encourage new users to the Great Glen, Lynda Dodd has plans for some new marketing initiatives in partnership with other agencies to entice more walkers, cyclists, canoeists and others to come and experience the Great Glen for themselves.

Anyone inspired to walk, cycle, or travel the Way by horse or by boat, can send their name and address via email to: greatglenway@highland.gov.uk and request a free DVD (quote PR005 code) or contact the Great Glen Way Rangers on tel: 01320 366633.

© 2010 Highland Public Services Partnership.
Project part-financed by the European Union (European Regional Development Fund) within the INTERREG IIIB Northern Periphery Programme