A suspected sighting of the Loch Ness Monster
Image: Ad Meskens

Has the Loch Ness Monster really moved to Hull and what would this mean for Scotland’s economy?

For many years, travellers have taken both the high road and the low road to Scotland to find the elusive Loch Ness Monster. But after decades of searching and a few highly contested sightings, Nessie has never been found. Now we may know why. Last week, the world's most famous aquatic beastie was apparently spotted in Hull.

So if Nessie has upped sticks and moved to the humbler Humber River, what impact will that have on the Scottish Economy? Will it make Scottish sterling worthless? Will it trigger a second independence referendum? We find out.

How much money does Scotland make from Nessie?

Real or not, a ‘local expert’ estimates that the Loch Ness Monster brings around $170 million a year from intrepid monster hunters heading to the Fort Augustus region in hopes of taking the first ever non-blurry picture of the monster - if the damn thing would just stay still.

Doesn’t $170 million seem a bit high?

Yes. Others quoted in the same article from Management Today put the figure at about £32-40 million annually.

A giraffe swims on Loch Ness
My, what a long neck you have...

Why didn’t you check some other websites?

Actually, we did and we found this: Loch Ness Monster: Is Nessie just a tourist conspiracy?

Surely not?

Don’t rule it out. And don’t call me surely. In fact, don’t call me at all, how did you get this number? If Scotland gets over $130 million revenue from 'monster tourism' each year, is it any wonder they would do what they can to keep the hoax alive?

The BBC report above outlines the findings of an academic from the University of St Andrews who's studied 1000 reports of Loch Ness Monster sightings. He says a ‘sizeable number’ of the sightings came from hotel and café owners. Mmmm...

So you’re saying it is a hoax?

No! We’re not saying that. Please don’t sue us anybody.

The Humber Bridge on a sunny day
The River Humber: is this Nessie's new home?

Wait, where does Hull come into all of this?

Again, we’re not saying it's true. But with the above findings in mind, could the café and hotel proprietors of Hull be faking their own monster for the tourism check?

Actually, it seems unlikely. The Humber Monster has a long history of its own. And more importantly, it turns out ‘monster tourism’ may not be that beneficial after all. Graeme Ambrose, head of an Inverness and Loch Ness tourism board, believes it takes more than a monster to create a sustainable tourism industry. Although, Willie Cameron who promotes the Loch, said: "It’s as big as Coca Cola, Madonna, Elvis Presley. It’s global."

So the Loch Ness Monster doesn’t help Scotland’s economy?

No, there's little doubt it does. It's a great marketing tool. But it’s the wider tourism industry built up around the monster that really brings in the money. The hotels, shops, restaurants, cafés and other attractions. You can’t make millions from people just swinging by to take a photo of an empty lake. Plus, monsters eating visitors are a real drag on the economy.


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