How much is the Loch Ness Monster worth to the Scottish economy?

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New video footage of a mysterious ’30ft creature’ moving swiftly through the water of Loch Ness, Scotland, raises the question of what everyone’s favorite cryptid means to Scotland’s economy.

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The two-and-a-half-minute holiday video taken by a traveler couple in their 50s who wish to remain anonymous has rekindled rumors of the existence of a Loch Ness Monster and given enthusiasts some “compelling” new footage.

Experts like Gary Campbell, keeper of the official Loch Ness Monster Register, call it the best images of the monster called ‘Nessie’ they’ve seen in decades.

“In terms of video evidence, there have been two or three really good videos in the past, but this one is definitely among the best,” Campbell said. “When something like this happens, which is really inexplicable, then it’s [sic] awesome.”

And great for business too. According to Campbell, a chartered accountant in addition to a Monster tracker, there are less than 10 days a year when Nessie does do not get a mention somewhere in the world. This monster that probably doesn’t exist is a major brand in Scottish tourism and helps attract half a million tourists to the Loch Ness region each year.

In 2018 Campbell set out to calculate what tourists to Nessie and Loch Ness meant for the Scottish economy. Analyzing data from national tourism organization VisitScotland and local businesses, Campbell estimated that the behemoth adds almost US$54m (£41m) to Scotland’s economy each year. The total is US$14.4m (£11m) more than the previous estimate in 2014. Without the pandemic, Nessie’s value to the economies of Loch Ness and Scotland would likely have increased since Campbell’s estimate.

The first mention of a creature living in the waters of Loch Ness was first recorded by the Irish missionary Saint Adomnán of Iona in the sixth century in his work on the life of Saint Columba. The biography describes the abbot witnessing a large creature rising from the waters of Loch Ness in 564 CE.

The first modern sighting of the lake monster was reported by The Inverness Courier in 1933 and described a couple seeing a “frightening monster” “rolling and diving on the surface” of the loch. Since then, there have been periods of inactivity and rare sightings and cycles of intense research, scrutiny and fandom.

For nearly a hundred years, Nessie has enjoyed household name status across Scotland and around the world, taking her place at the top of favorite cryptic lists and at the center of famous collections of prank stories. So how much does it cost to see the legend in person?

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According to Champion Traveler, a seven-day tour for two people costs an average of $2,728. You can also upgrade your trip, with a luxury stay costing up to around $10,962 for the week. The cheapest time to visit is late February and early March. However, for the ideal vacation, you’ll want to book your trip anytime between June 25 and August 12, just plan to spend a little extra cash.

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About the Author

David Nadelle is a freelance editor and writer based in Ottawa, Canada. After working in the energy industry for 18 years, he decided to make a career change in 2016 and focus full-time on all aspects of writing. He recently completed a technical degree in communications and holds previous university degrees in journalism, sociology and criminology. David has covered a wide variety of financial and lifestyle topics for numerous publications and has experience writing for the retail industry.

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