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Scotland is Dram-tastic

Press release   •   Nov 06, 2017 14:02 GMT

Diageo-owned Oban Distillery.

Diageo is toasting a successful summer season at its distillery visitor centres – with an 18% rise in visitor numbers – as it joins the national tourism organisation at the leading global event for the travel industry in London today (6 November).

Visits to Blair Athol, Glenkinchie, Dalwhinnie, Royal Lochnagar, Cragganmore, Cardhu, Glen Ord, Clynelish, Talisker, Oban, Caol Ila and Lagavulin rose by almost a fifth from April to September this year over the same period in 2016, while sales at the distilleries increased by 29%.

The 12 Diageo-owned distilleries are marketed under the banner, Discovering Distilleries, which joins 11 other businesses on VisitScotland’s stand at World Travel Market (WTM).

Taking place at ExCel London from 6-8 November, more than 51,000 industry professionals are expected to attend WTM 2017. The event allows the tourism body and its industry partners to show travel trade professionals from around the globe exactly what the country has to offer.

It is the first time Discovering Distilleries – Diageo will be exhibiting at World Travel Market and will be joined by Flybe, New Lanark Mills World Heritage Site, Timberbush Tours Limited and East Scotland Tourism Partnership, also making their debut.

East Scotland Tourism Partnership is a unique tourism partnership between the four local authorities: Angus, Dundee, Perth & Kinross and Fife. It was formed 18 months ago to create a new marketing destination and capitalise on the opportunities presented by the opening of the V&A Museum of Design Dundee in the second half of 2018.

The VisitScotland stand will also see a special appearance of The Solheim Cup trophy to celebrate the world’s biggest female golf event returning to Scotland in 2019 when it is played at Gleneagles. Featuring the leading female golf professionals from Europe and the US, in a format that mirrors The Ryder Cup, the event will see more than 100,000 spectators descend on the Perthshire venue with millions more watching the TV broadcasts around the world.

Eight international golf tour operators have already been appointed to sell packages to international visitors with a focus on recruiting other interested tour operators at World Travel Market.

The remaining businesses on the VisitScotland stand are:

  • Cashel Travel – tour company based in Edinburgh
  • Classic Britain – tour company, based in Strathaven, Lanarkshire
  • The Black Watch Castle and Museum, Perthshire
  • Historic Environment Scotland
  • Spirit of Scotland Show, Edinburgh
  • Royal Highland Hotel, Inverness
  • Strathmore Hotels, which includes the Alexandra and Ben Nevis hotels in Fort William, the Nethybridge Hotel near Aviemore, The Royal Hotel in Oban and The Salutation Hotel in Perth

Malcolm Roughead, Chief Executive of VisitScotland, said:

“Whisky is one of Scotland’s most valuable commodities, with visitors from all over the world coming to our shores to experience an authentic Scottish dram, which includes visiting distilleries and following our popular whisky trails.

“As the leading global event for the travel industry, World Travel Market is a fantastic platform for our partners to showcase their business in front of an international audience.

“Partnership and collaboration is at the heart of Scottish tourism and we work closely with communities and businesses to develop the rich assets, hidden gems and local stories of every region in Scotland.”

Katie Macrae, Visitor Centre Marketing Manager at Diageo said:

“We are delighted to be joining VisitScotland at the World Travel Market 2017. We are excited to continue our growth in the whisky tourism market as well as contributing to Scotland’s tourism as a whole. With our recent announcement of reopening Brora distillery, Port Ellen distillery and two adjoining visitor centres in 2020 we are maximising all opportunities.”

Suzanne Cumiskey, Business Development Projects Officer, Perth and Kinross Council, said:

‘The East Scotland Tourism Partnership is working together to maximise the business growth opportunities the opening of the V&A Museum of Design Dundee in the second half of 2018 will bring.

“Part of the £1.5 billion Dundee Waterfront Development, the aim is to develop an integrated regional tourism product which encourages business growth. By working collaboratively the partnership aims to increase the volume and value of tourism into the region, increasing the length of stay, visitor spend and repeat visitation.”


Notes to Editors

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  • 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
  • To ensure everyone can safely enjoy Scotland’s amazing countryside and landscapes, VisitScotland encourages all visitors to fully respect their surroundings by behaving in a responsible and appropriate way.
  • 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.
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  • 2017 Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology
  • 2017 is the year to delve into the past and discover Scotland’s fascinating stories through a wide-ranging variety of new and existing activity to drive the nation’s tourism and events sector, boosting tourism across Scotland.
  • The Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology begins on 1 January 2017 and will end on 31 December 2017. It will build on the momentum generated by previous themed years in Scotland including the 2015 Year of Food and Drink, Homecoming Scotland 2014, the Year of Creative and the Year of Natural.
  • The Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology is a Scottish Government initiative being led by VisitScotland, and supported by a variety of partners including Creative Scotland, Scottish Tourism Alliance, Scottish Enterprise, The National Trust for Scotland, Historic Environment Scotland, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Built Environment Forum Scotland, Heritage Lottery Fund, Museums Galleries Scotland and Traditional Arts and Culture Scotland.
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  • For more information visit or join the conversation at #HHA2017