The next time your village, town, county or other political division is thinking about boosting the local economy, you might suggest the promotion of genealogy.
How much money do genealogists and other "ancestral tourists" contribute to a local economy? One recent study says that Scotland earns millions today from ancestral tourists, and that figure is expected to increase to £300 million ($565 million U.S.) per year within the next five years.
VisitScotland says that international visitors tracing their Scottish roots make 250,000 trips per year, an industry which is presently worth £153 million to the Scottish economy.
Alan Rankin, the chief executive of Scottish Tourism Forum, said, "The biggest plus point of ancestral tourism is that it takes overseas tourists to virtually every single part of Scotland. It's clearly a market that has a huge potential with overseas Scots, not just in North America but across the world."
And who said that genealogists don't spend much money?