“What are the main social and economic opportunities in the Cairngorms?”
The main social opportunity in the Cairngorms is tourism (/); however, it is also an economic factor, as it brings in money for the local area (/). An average of 1.2 million people visit the Cairngorms each year (/); an average of £240 million is brought in by tourism each year (/). Typical tourist activities involve skiing or snowboarding in Corrie Cas (/), fishing in Loch Morlich (/), rock-climbing at Lurcher’s Crag (/), camping in the Muir of Alvy or sightseeing in Lochan Eilan Castle (/). The skiing alone brings in £149 million per year (/). As a result of this, there are 4000 jobs – employing local and non-local people (/) – in the skiing industry alone. About 61% of those visiting the Cairngorms come from outside of Scotland (/).
All this has greatly affected the local villagers from Aviemore, and has greatly impacted upon their lives. For instance, many tourists are purchasing holiday homes in Aviemore (/); this drives up the prices of houses there, leading to conflict between holidaymakers who buy the properties, and local residents who then become unable to purchase these properties as a result. Also, the tourism creates many other jobs, such as hotel staff, workers in restaurants or bar employees (/); 37% of Aviemore’s population are employed in such vocations (/). The economic side of tourism has led to the expansion of the Aviemore village – the current population of Aviemore is around 2700 (/).
This has all contributed toward an increasingly efficient infrastructure: examples include Aviemore train station (/) and the A9 bypass (/), both of which were brought about to ease tourist access, therefore allowing extra passing trade into Aviemore (/).
The main economic opportunities in the Cairngorms are quarrying, farming, hydroelectric power schemes and reservoirs.
There is a quarry at Kincraig (/), extracting minerals such as bauxite and iron ore in what is known as primary industry (/).
Farming in the Cairngorms – e.g. Guislich Farm (/) – would be mainly hill-sheep farming (due to the land’s relief); also, sheep require a lot of grazing land, and vast areas are available.
Hydroelectric power (HEP) uses the motive power of water in streams to generate and store a renewable (/), cheap, non-polluting source of energy.
In the high land of the Cairngorms, a lot of rainfall is received, making the area ideal for reservoirs; an example of this is the area surrounding Loch Einich (/), which is already an ample store of water.