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Issue 9: Economic Development

Header9David Gowans


  • Achieving consistent ‘buy-in’ to the National Park brand across the National Park;
  • Promoting the National Park and surrounding regional destinations, eg Aberdeenshire and Inverness & Loch Ness, to their mutual benefit;
  • Limited public transport;
  • Increasing pressure on infrastructure including roads, rail, housing, business premises;
  • Comparatively poor broadband and mobile reception in the remoter areas of the National Park;
  • A lack of Further and Higher Education opportunities;
  • Attracting investment for key infrastructure projects; and
  • A continued heavy reliance on low-wage tourism sector.
issue 9 royal lochnagar distilleryAngus Findlay

Economic Impact of Tourism

Graph showing Economic Impact of Tourism


  • Deliver the Cairngorms National Park Economic Strategy’s
    (2015-2018) priorities for:

    • Tourism: consolidating and enhancing the strong brand of the National Park throughout the visitor journey; creating a more valuable, resilient year round tourism economy with increased profitability and local prosperity
    • Forestry: supporting a more valuable and resilient forestry sector with increased profitability and local prosperity
    • Food and Drink: encouraging a growing food and drink sector locally and with new markets
    • Energy and Renewables: encouraging businesses to use less energy, reduce costs, and generate income from renewable energy;
  • A growing business sector with increasing employment;
  • Improving and increasing Further and Higher Education opportunities within the National Park to support key sectors;
  • Increased investment in businesses and infrastructure to make better connections to the natural capital (the natural assets and
    special qualities) of the National Park;
  • Improve physical infrastructure and digital connectivity in the National Park to support a growing economy; and
  • Developing a better understanding of current and future economic trends and opportunities.

 Laggan Broadband

Strategic Projects and super-fast broadband provision in the Cairngorms National Park

Map of super-fast broadband provision


  • Cairngorms Business Partnership – providing business leadership and promoting collaboration
  • Cairngorms Economic Forum and Strategy Business Support Group
  • Cairngorms Local Action Group
  • Cairngorms Tourism Partnership
  • Cairngorms Nature Strategy Group
  • Digital Cairngorms Steering Group
  • Cairngorms Community Broadband Project
Tree harvestAnke Addy


  • How can the National Park tourism sector be strengthened?

  • How can businesses be better connected with the natural environment for economic benefit?

  • What more can be done to diversify the National Park’s economy beyond tourism?

  • Have the right key infrastructure priorities been identified, or are there others that should be included?

Explore the other big issues

Issue 1 - Landscape Scale Conservation
Issue 1 - Landscape Scale Conservation 
Issue 2 - Deer and Moorland Management
Issue 2 - Deer and Moorland Management 
Issue 3 - Flood Management
Issue 3 - Flood Management