IN the northwest of Scotland, which has endured poor weather while much of the rest of the country swelters, the activity sector has been particularly hard hit by a drop in tourist bookings.

One outdoor adventure company said they had experienced a “massive” downturn on bookings earlier in the summer although they are now increasing with the English school holidays in full swing.

“May was down slightly at 15% or so, June was down about 30% and bookings were down 60% on last year in the first three weeks of July, so it was massive,” said Kevin Williams, of South Skye Sea Kayaks.

While the lack of sun has not helped, he thinks holidaymakers are cutting back on spending because of the cost of living crisis.

READ MORE: How Scottish adventure tourism is coping amid the cost of living crisis

“The electricity bill for our house and business is nearly £4000 so these kinds of increases have to be affecting people,” he said.

The high cost of hotels, guest houses and self-catering units on Skye may also be having an impact on tourist spending power, he believes.

“The cost of accommodation is so high – we had a look at local hotels and a night’s bed and breakfast was unbelievable,” said Williams.

“Some of them are taking nearly £400 for one night for two people. If people are paying that much for accommodation maybe there is not much left over.”

He and his wife Janni employ two full-time members of staff, plus an apprentice, and four part-time workers.

Adventure tourism has been badly affected by the cost-of-living crisis

He added: “I have been making sure we are prioritising them as much as we can. We provide accommodation for them and we want to make sure we can sustain them so it is myself and Janni that are taking the hit.”

Tourist organisation SkyeConnect said this summer’s data showed the activity sector was suffering with fewer holidaymakers booking activities like boat trips.

“Quite a number are reporting that levels are 50% down on last year and we can only put that down to the cost of living,” said Simon Cousins, of SkyeConnect. “People are still travelling and having a holiday but they are not spending as much money as they would normally. Weather is a factor in that as well but the cost of living is definitely having an impact.

“Traffic at iconic sites like the Fairy Pools is really high because there is little to pay for apart from parking but people are not spending on activities like they would normally.

“Businesses are really struggling because they don’t want to be passing on the costs so they are absorbing increased fuel costs etcetera, but how long that is sustainable for I don’t know.”