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Scotland the perfect getaway

Press Release   •   Apr 26, 2017 12:27 BST

With nearly a quarter of visitors holidaying in Scotland to ‘get away from it all’, internet sensations the Kilted Yogis were in Glasgow today to show tour operators from around the world exactly why the country is the perfect place to relax.

Finlay Wilson and Tristan Cameron-Harper, whose video of them practising yoga in traditional Scottish attire has been viewed more than 50 million times, were at the country’s biggest travel show – VisitScotland Expo – to help the national tourism organisation unveil the findings of its most extensive ever visitor survey.

Nearly a quarter (23%) of the 12,000 visitors polled said ‘getting away from it all’ was one of the main reasons they enjoyed holidaying in Scotland. This figure rose to 29% among those living here.

Unsurprisingly, the scenery and landscape was the most popular reason to visit, with 50% of those polled citing Scotland’s vistas. History and culture (33%) was second on the list, while a desire to return after previously visiting Scotland (24%) was third.

Popular culture continues to inspire visitors, with 1 in 10 indicating they were prompted to book a trip to Scotland by a film or television show. Outlander was both the stand-out book and television show inspiring visitors, particularly among North Americans, who were more than twice as likely as those from any other country to cite the Diana Gabaldon-penned phenomenon as a reason for coming to Scotland.

The survey, which was carried out over the summers of 2016 and 2015, also showed that:

  • 78% strongly agreed that Scotland was a country worth visiting more than once
  • 75% are likely to highly recommend Scotland as a holiday or short-break destination
  • 70% scored their Scotland experience as nine or ten out of ten, with 46% rating it 10/10
  • 65% strongly agreed that they were made to feel really welcome in Scotland
  • 68% of visitors use smartphones to find out information while in Scotland

Held at the Scottish Events Campus (SEC), VisitScotland Expo 2017 is the 38th staging of Scotland’s biggest business-to-business event for the travel trade. The national tourism organisation’s flagship show is giving 276 Scottish tourism businesses – including accommodation providers, visitor attractions and activity providers – from every corner of the country the chance to showcase their products and services to more than 600 tour operators and travel agents from all over the world.

The event will have a net economic impact of £2.5 million on the local economy while, thanks to one-to-one appointments facilitated by VisitScotland, exhibitors are expected to do more than £22,000 worth of business over the two days.

Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs, said:“Scotland offers visitors a warm welcome. As the results of this survey confirm, our spectacular landscapes and seascapes provide the perfect background for a wide range of experiences for tourists. Rural and island economies benefit too because tourism is of vital importance to hotels, shops, restaurants and other businesses in these areas that every year welcome millions of visitors.”

Malcolm Roughead, Chief Executive of VisitScotland, said: “We are delighted with the results of our most extensive visitor survey yet, which show that Scotland is a spectacular, welcoming destination that people from all over the world are inspired to visit time and time again. At our flagship trade show, few people are better placed to advocate Scotland as the perfect place to ‘get away from it all’ than Finlay and Tristan, whose video has been watched by millions of prospective visitors from all over the world.”

Finlay Wilson, Founder of Heart Space Yoga & Bodyworks in Dundee, said: “It’s easy to see why so many people come to Scotland to get away from it all, whether it’s climbing munros, going mountain biking or getting a ferry over to one of our spectacular islands. And as millions of people know after watching our video, Scotland is also the perfect place to relax and indulge in a spot of kilted yoga!”

To read the VisitScotland Visitor Survey, go to: www.visitscotland.org/research_and_statistics/visitor_research/all_markets/scotland_visitor_survey.aspx

To find out more about VisitScotland Expo, go to: www.visitscotlandexpo.com

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.
  • Spending by tourists in Scotland generates around £12 billion of economic activity in the wider Scottish supply chain and contributes around £6 billion to Scottish GDP (in basic prices). This represents about 5% of total Scottish GDP.
  • The Scottish Government is the Managing Authority for the European Structural Funds 2014-20 Programme. For further information visit www.gov.scot or follow @scotgovESIF
  • 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
    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.
  • The Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology is supported by £570,000 of Scottish Government funding.
  • The Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology events fund is managed by EventScotland, part of VisitScotland’s Events Directorate.
  • For more information visit visitscotland.com/HHA2017 or join the conversation at #HHA2017