How sustainable is hunting tourism in Scotland? A review of stakeholder perceptions

David Watts, Stephano Fiorini, Colin J Hunter

Research output: Contribution to conferenceUnpublished paperpeer-review


The Scottish Government has, in recent years, become more active in support of hunting tourism. This is exemplified by the creation, in 2004, of the Country Sports and Tourism Group, which is resourced partly from public funds. Such support appears to stem from the economic benefits that hunting tourism is seen to provide. Recent estimates suggest that it generates €264 Million of gross value added for the Scottish economy every year and supports the equivalent of 11,000 full-time jobs .

However, the authors’ current research highlights issues that problematise the sustainability of hunting tourism in Scotland. Divisions have emerged concerning hunting’s environmental sustainability, particularly with regard to competing definitions of what constitutes an appropriate ‘Scottish’ landscape. It has also been highlighted that few landowners profit from hunting tourism and that the sector depends on a small number of very high net worth individuals owning large estates who can afford to make up the difference between income from hunting and expenditure on staff and estate maintenance. This has social implications, particularly in light of recent Scottish legislation giving crofting communities the right to buy estates on which they live as tenants. Based on qualitative interviews with stakeholders drawn from a range of rural interest groups and the Scottish Government, this paper explores the diversity of perceptions of hunting tourism and of its role in the economic, social and cultural dimensions of rural life, along with the potential impacts of its expansion or transformation.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2009
EventEuropean Rural Sociology Congress - Vaasa, Finland
Duration: 17 Aug 200921 Aug 2009


ConferenceEuropean Rural Sociology Congress


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