Volume and value of tourism

The 2010 'Economic and Social Health of the Park' report indicates that:
  • There are almost 1.5 million visitors annually to the Park
  • They spent more than 3.1 million days in the Park
  • They spent more than £100 million in the Park
    Of this:
    • £32 million was spent on accommodation
    • £14 million on food and drink
    • £6 million of recreation
    • £8 million on shopping
    • £15 million on transport
The total visitor spend per year is equal to more than £5,800 for every man, woman and child who lives in the Park!

Balance between different parts of the Park
The West side of the Park is the area called Badenoch and Strathspey, where most communities are in or around the valley of the River Spey – Strathspey. These include Aviemore, Grantown-on-Spey, Boat of Garten, Dulnain Bridge, Carr-Bridge, NethyBridge, Kincraig, Kingussie, Newtonmore, Dalwhinnie and Laggan.

This part of the Park is served by a major trunk road (the A9) and the railway from London, Edinburgh and Glasgow and towns in between. Most of the 1,200 tourism businesses which operate in the Park are in this area, around two thirds of the tourism jobs are here, and £127 million (of the £179 million total) is spent here by visitors. It is the most tourism intensive economy in Scotland.

The East of the Park includes Moray including Tomintoul and Glenlivet and communities in Donside (Strathdon) and Deeside. The main communities in Royal Deeside are Ballater and Braemar, and the small villages of Dinnet and Crathie. Also in the East are the Angus Glens – Glen Clova, Glen Esk, Glen Isla, Glen Prosen and Glen Doll with Glen Lethnot and the towns of Kirriemuir and Brechin just outside the Park.

The east side of the Park no longer has a railway line, and most local buses mainly operate from Aberdeen along the valleys of the Rivers Dee and Don. Areas like the Angus Glens and parts of Moray have few buses which may also be infrequent, or operate only in summer. Main access from the south by car is over Britain’s highest main road (the A93, 2,100ft/650m above sea level) through Glen Shee. The value of tourism here is £52 million and there are only 1,853 tourism jobs in this area. Scottish Enterprise has identified this as a key priority area for tourism support and development.