The 7stanes mountain bike trail centres have helped boost the southern Scottish economy, generate new jobs and increase the annual visitor spend to over £9m in 2007, according to a research report.
Visitor numbers to the trail centres have more than doubled since 2004, rising to almost 400,000 per year according to the independent study, commissioned by Forestry Commission Scotland.
The injection of money to the area can be attributed in part to the number of overseas and UK visitors from outside Scotland, which the report found to have increased to 37% – a 60% increase since 2004.
Visitors to the purpose-built mountain bike trails clearly see 7stanes as one of Scotland’s greatest assets, with many rating it among the top 20 visitor attractions in Scotland, and according to the report, 75% of respondents said that the quality of the trails was very good – up from 68% in 2004.
Scotland’s Environment Minister, Michael Russell, said: “The trails and facilities that the 7stanes have put in place have created an opportunity to raise Scotland’s profile on an international level, but of much more importance, they have attracted many thousands of visitors to the area, providing a much needed boost to the local economy.
For more information on the evaluation, visit www.7stanes.gov.uk/phase2evaluation