Monday, 14 December 2020 22:03

Scotland set for “influx” of orienteering enthusiasts

Scotland set for “influx” of orienteering enthusiasts

Scotland’s tourism sector is set to be boosted by orienteering enthusiasts, following the success of the World Orienteering Championships (WOC) in the Highlands and Moray earlier this year.

The event was staged concurrently with Highland 2015, the 20th edition of the Scottish 6 Days race, between 31 July and 8 August.

A post-event survey has found that 82% of participants would be either “very likely” or “likely” to attend the Scottish 6 Days event again in the future, while 86% felt Highland 2015 was a “positive showcase” for the sport of orienteering.

Three-quarters of respondents also said they intend to return to Scotland as part of a future holiday.

A combined total of 8,117 participants and spectators travelled to the north of Scotland for the event, with 93% from outside the local authority areas and 86% from outside of Scotland.

The international races generated £9.4million for Scotland’s economy, according to an independent economic impact assessment carried out by Glasgow-based EKOS Limited.

Fergus Ewing, Minister for Business, Energy and Tourism and MSP for Inverness and Nairn, said: “The Scottish 6 Days and World Orienteering Championships in 2015 were a massive success, both locally and for Scotland as a whole, generating millions of pounds for the economy. For the Highlands and tourism in the Highlands, these championships were one of the most successful events in living memory.

“This was achieved through Scottish Government funding, administered by EventScotland via the International Events Programme, which is absolutely vital in continuing to attract high-profile international events that deliver clear and substantial benefits to the country.

“It is particularly exciting that this year’s Championships saw so many overseas visitors taking part as either spectators or participants and that they left with so many good things to say about Scotland, greatly increasing the potential for them to return with friends and relatives in the future.”

Dr Mike Cantlay OBE, Chairman of VisitScotland, who competed in orienteering for Scotland in his youth, took part in a media race during Scottish 6 Days.

He said: “Scotland has shown once again it can compete on the global stage by hosting prestigious events such as Highland 2015 and the World Orienteering Championships, which attract people from all over the world and generate millions of pounds for Scotland’s vital visitor economy – supporting communities and creating jobs.

“The success of these high-profile events is a testament to the accomplished work of the Highlands in hosting complex large-scale events with multiple venues.

“Orienteering is a sport close to my heart, so it was a privilege to attend the events and a joy to take part in the Highland 2015 media race and experience the thrill of orienteering again.”


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