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Tourism & Business

The Cairngorms has a unique rural economy which is heavily reliant on a number of key sectors, in particular tourism. In order to grow and thrive in the future we need to strengthen our economy through supporting and diversifying business, and helping people develop and train towards employment

Sustainable Economic Growth

The National Park Partnership Plan 2023-2027 (NPPP) sets a clear aspiration for growth of the economy of the Park that matches the Scottish Government’s purpose. This is not growth at the expense of what makes the Park a special place. It is growth that builds on, conserves and enhances those special qualities. It is growth that supports the Park and its communities, which means in turn that we can make the most of the National Park as an asset for Scotland.


“The structure of the Cairngorms National Park is unique, with a distinctive mix of industries contributing to the National Park’s creation of wealth.”
The Economic and Social Health of the Cairngorms National Park, 2010

Cairngorms Green Recovery Fund

Cairngorms Recovery Fund has been launched to help communities and local businesses to recover from the lockdown.


Tourism is vital to the Cairngorms National Park. It accounts for 30% of the economy (GVA) and 43% of employment. Visitors have been flocking here for centuries to appreciate the outstanding landscapes, wildlife and a huge range of activities. Find out more about tourism in the Park, as well as the results of the 2019/20 Cairngorms Visitor Survey.

Economic Research

It is vital that the CNPA, partners, businesses and the people living in the Cairngorms National Park have access to reliable economic and social data. This information helps with planning future priorities and deciding where to target development support.

By identifying and analysing local economic trends, and comparing these with the national picture, it provides insights into the current economic ‘make-up’ of the Park and how it may look in the medium to longer term. It also seeks to examine the impact that the National Park status has had on the area’s economy.

The Cairngorms Business Partnership undertakes a 1/4ly Business Barometer Survey of its membership that delivers a snap – shot of business confidence across the Park. You will find all the reports using the links below.

CBP Business Barometer Reports Jan 2021 – present

CBP Business Barometer Reports 2014 – 2021

The Economic and Social Health of the Cairngorms National Park reports, 2010 & 2013

These reports update the 2002 economic survey of the Park, and contain data and analysis on everything from forestry to housing, people and work, manufacturing to tourism, and whisky to retailing.

Economic and Social Health of the Cairngorms National Park 2010
Economic and Social Health of the Cairngorms National Park 2013

Digital Connectivity

Good digital connectivity is increasingly seen as a basic service that is required by residents, businesses, students, visitors and the public sector. Efforts are underway to improve digital connectivity across Scotland and in particular across isolated rural areas.

CNPA is working closely with the relevant bodies to ensure that the communities and businesses of the Cairngorms National Park fully benefit from the national initiatives that are currently being implemented.


The three key visitor experience priorities which will guide the work of partners over the Plan period

Visitor infrastructure and information
Visitor infrastructure and information 
Active Cairngorms
Active Cairngorms 
Learning and Inclusion
Learning and Inclusion