Is Scotland the next big adventure travel destination?

It’s no secret that the adventure travel market is booming. It is estimated that that segment of the travel industry generated $89 billion in revenue in 2009 alone, and 2010 is expected to be another banner year. One destination that is helping to contribute to that massive revenue is Scotland, a country that already garners more than $1.4 billion in adventure travel per year, and yet analysts are forecasting an increase in the number of visitors to the country of more than 70% over the next three years.

More than 3.2 million adventure trips were booked to Scotland in 2008 and with the predicted increase for the years ahead, travel companies are already ramping up to help meet the demand. New options for hiking, cycling, and paddling in Scotland are in the works, offering plenty of active adventures for travelers looking to explore the country’s varied landscapes.

The most popular draw for adventure travelers is undoubtedly a multi-day hike through the famed Scottish Highlands. Those treks can consist of a few days of short day hikes while staying in luxurious accommodations or up to ten full days of walking during which travelers stay in simple inns each night. The trails pass through low lying mountains covered in mist and heather that are surprisingly rugged, and breathtakingly beautiful.

Many of those same mountain trails are also accessible by mountain bike, which make them a lure for an entirely different crowd. Road cyclists will find plenty to enjoy as well, albeit on the quaint roads that wind through the Scottish countryside. Kayaking and canoeing are also popular ways to explore the Highlands and the country’s famous Lochs, while the beautiful rocky coastlines offer some of the best sea kayaking found anywhere on the planet. Mix in a rich history and culture, and you have all the best ingredients for your next adventure trip.

With so much to see and

[Photo credit: Warwick Bradly via WikiMedia]