Businesses have been urged to tap into Scotland’s wildlife tourism market after figures indicated the country attracted more than a million wildlife trips a year.
The call came in a new guide published by Tourism Intelligence Scotland (TIS).
Wildlife tourism is already estimated to generate £276m a year for the Scottish economy.
Ministers said the figure should rise further because of growing interest in sustainability and responsible tourism.
The new guide offers advice on how businesses can help wildlife enthusiasts make the most of their trips in Scotland.
It encourages accommodation providers to offer guests access to maps, keep spare binoculars and waterproofs for guests to use, and place information about local wildlife, nature reserves and trails on their websites.
The Wildlife Tourism in Scotland guide has been produced in partnership with Scottish Natural Heritage, Forestry Commission Scotland and Wild Scotland.
Launching the guide, Tourism Minister Fergus Ewing said: “Scotland has an abundant range of rich and unique wildlife and habitats – from ospreys to otters, and forests to farmland.
“We also have some of the most fantastic, world-class settings in which to enjoy wildlife.
“Over a million wildlife trips a year are already taken to or within Scotland, where people visit specifically to view our rich wildlife.”
He added: “In reality, however, the scope of wildlife tourism is much larger, with some 58% of all visitors to Scotland citing our scenery and landscapes as their top reason for choosing us as a holiday destination.”
This from the same minister that supports the destruction of wild land areas for corporate gain. They really don’t get it do they?