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Domestic bliss!

Press Release   •  Jan 21, 2016 13:30 GMT

The number of domestic tourist visits to Scotland jumped nine per cent, to around 12.9 million, in the year to the end of September 2015.

The Great Britain Tourism Survey published today also shows that expenditure on domestic tourism visits - visitors from Scotland, England and Wales staying for at least one night - rose by 14 per cent to over £3.2 billion in the year to the end of September 2015, outperforming Great Britain as a whole.

Domestic overnight visits account for over 80 per cent of all tourism visits to Scotland.

There were 15.5 million overseas and domestic visitors to Scotland in the year to September 2015, a rise of seven per cent.

Tourism Minister Fergus Ewing said: “This is an excellent set of figures that shows Scottish tourism goes from strength to strength.

“Scotland’s tourism offer is unrivalled and, despite last summer’s washout weather, over a million more visitors came to Scotland, spending 14 per cent more compared to the year before.

“That’s solid proof that people are prepared to come here to enjoy our natural assets, tourism attractions and quality experiences, and to spend in our hotels, shops and restaurants. With world class events like last year’s British Open at St Andrews, and a hugely successful Year of Food and Drink, these figures are something to celebrate.

“The whole of the tourism industry should be applauded for making every visitor welcome. We must keep the momentum going. In 2016, the Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design, the industry has a further opportunity to showcase the best of what Scotland has to offer.”

Mike Cantlay, Chairman of VisitScotland, said: “Scottish tourism continues to thrive and grow despite a backdrop of difficult economic trading conditions hitting the travel industry throughout the world.  Many thought 2014 would be the big year for Scottish tourism, but I’m thrilled to see a continuing strong performance in 2015.  The tourism industry has worked hard to improve everything from quality to value for money and this is reflected in these fantastic results – what a wonderful reflection on all their hard work.”

ROLLING YEAR STATISTICS (Oct 2014 – Sept 2015)

Rolling year (Oct 2014 – Sept 2015 – Overseas Visitors)
Overseas visits have decreased:  -1%
Overseas spend has decreased:  -2%

Rolling Year (Oct 2014 – Sept 2015) – Domestic Visitors
Domestic visits have increased:  +9%
Domestic spend has increased: +14% 

Rolling Year (Oct 2014 – Sept 2015) – Combined Overseas and Domestic
Combined overseas and domestic visits have increased: 7%
Combined overseas and domestic spend has increased: 8%

QUARTER 3 ONLY (July – September 2015)

Quarter 2 (July – September 2015) - Overseas visitors
Overseas visits have decreased:  +3%
Overseas spend has decreased: -13%

Quarter 2 (July – September 2015) - Domestic visitors
Domestic visits have increased:  1%
Domestic spend has increased:  8%

Quarter 2 (July – September 2015) - Combined domestic and overseas visitors
Combined overseas and domestic visits have stayed the same: 0%
Combined overseas and domestic spend  decreased: -1%


YEAR TO DATE (Jan- September 2015)

Year to date (Jan – September 2015) - Overseas visitors
Overseas visits have decreased:  -2%
Overseas spend has decreased:  -7%

Year to date (Jan – September 2015) - Domestic visitors
Domestic visits have increased:  +4%
Domestic spend has increased:  +17%

Year to date (Jan – September 2015) - Combined domestic and overseas visitors
Combined overseas and domestic visits have increased: +3%
Combined overseas and domestic spend has increased: +8%

Notes to Editors

  • Follow us on twitter: @visitscotnews
  • VisitScotland is Scotland’s national tourism organisation. Its core purpose is to maximise the economic benefit of tourism to Scotland.
  • The organisation’s core objective is to contribute to the Tourism 2020 Strategy ambition of growing tourism revenues by £1 billion by 2020.
  • This will be supported by seven overarching strategies:
    1. Marketing: we will market Scotland and its outstanding assets to visitors from all parts of the world, including the promotion of Scotland to people living in Scotland       to visit different parts of the country
    2. Events: we will support the national events strategy and its delivery, and sustain, develop and promote Scotland’s international profile as one of the world’s foremost events destinations
    3. Internationalisation and International Engagement: we will utilise all our platforms to enable Scottish-based tourism businesses to better understand international       opportunities and market to a global audience and we will work within One       Scotland Partnerships to optimise the potential of Scotland’s Diaspora and our strategic partners at regional, European and global levels
    4. Customer Experience: we will provide information and inspiration to visitors both locally and globally via their preferred medium of choice
    5. Quality and Sustainability: we will provide support and advice to businesses, with the goal of improving the quality and sustainability of the tourism sector in Scotland. We will provide quality assurance to visitors through our Quality Schemes
    6. Inclusive Tourism: we will strive to make tourism in Scotland inclusive and available to all
    7. Working in Partnership: we will listen to and work with the industry, partners and communities to shape our offering and support
  • VisitScotland works together with tourism businesses to make tourism a success for everyone and ensure the industry continues to grow.
  • The organisation employs 700 people and has offices and VisitScotland Information Centres across Scotland.
  • According to a recent Deloitte study, the tourism economy supports 270,000 jobs in Scotland in 20,000 diverse businesses. The same study calculates that the tourism      economy contributes £11 billion annually (direct and indirect impact, including day visits) and supports around 10 per cent of employment in Scotland. Almost 16 million tourists take overnight trips to Scotland.
  • For VisitScotland’s press releases go to http://www.visitscotland.org/media_centre.aspx, tourism statistics and frequently asked questions go to http://www.visitscotland.org/
  • Where possible, a Gaelic speaker will be made available for broadcast interviews on request (Far an tèid iarraidh, agus far am bheil sin nar comas, bruidhinnidh neach le Gàidhlig aig agallamh)
  • For holiday information on Scotland go to www.visitscotland.com
  • For information about business events in Scotland go to www.conventionscotland.com


    Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design 2016

  • 2016 will shine a spotlight on Scotland’s achievements in innovation, architecture and design through a wide-ranging, variety of new and existing activity.
  • The Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design begins on 1 January 2016 and ends on 31 December 2016 and will build on the momentum generated by the current 2015 Year of Food and Drink as well as previous years including Homecoming Scotland 2014, the Year of Creative and the Year of Natural.
  • Through a series of exciting events and activity, the year will showcase Scotland’s position as an “innovation nation”, its outstanding built heritage, and its thriving, internationally acclaimed creative industries sector.
  • The Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design is a Scottish Government initiative being led by VisitScotland, and supported by a variety of partners including Scottish Government, Creative Scotland, Architecture + Design Scotland, Scottish Tourism Alliance, Scottish Enterprise, The National Trust for Scotland, Historic Environment Scotland, Highlands and Islands Enterprise and The Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS).
  • The Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design events fund is managed by EventScotland, part of VisitScotland’s Events Directorate.
  • Join the conversation at #IAD2016
  • Events can join the 2016 Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design Partner Programme throughout the year by visiting http://www.eventscotland.org/YIAD_partner_programme

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