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Scottish tourism still punching above its weight

Press Release   •   Jul 13, 2017 12:53 BST

VisitScotland Chief Executive, Malcolm Roughead, responds to the release of the International Passenger Survey (IPS) tourism statistics by the UK Office of National Statistics (ONS). He said:

“These latest figures show that Scotland continues to punch above its weight in a hugely competitive global market, with our country seen around the world as a ‘must-visit’ destination.

“In the 12 months from April 2016 to March 2017, we saw a 3 per cent increase in trips and a 9 per cent increase in spend among our international visitors.

“This was driven largely by a 19 per cent increase in trips and a 40 per cent rise in spend among those coming from North America, who are showing an ever-growing appetite for our history, culture and our stunning landscapes. Favourable exchange rates during this period also played a part.

“We will, of course, not rest on our laurels. We need to think bigger about Scotland as a tourism destination to ensure we fulfil our potential – every visitor must get a quality experience every single time.

“Our industry is the heartbeat of the Scottish economy, causing a ripple effect which touches every industry and community, creating employment and economic growth.”

The ONS data can be viewed here: https://www.ons.gov.uk/releases/overseastravelandtourismprovisionaljantomar2017

To view the Scottish Government’s press release, click here: https://news.gov.scot/news/rise-in-international-tourist-spend

QUARTER 1 ONLY (2017)

Quarter 1 (Jan - Mar 2017) - Overseas visitors
Overseas visits have increased: +1%
Overseas spend has increased: +13%

ROLLING YEAR STATISTICS (Apr 2016– Mar 2017)

Rolling year (Apr 2016 – Mar 2017) – Overseas Visitors)
Overseas visits have increased: +3%
Overseas spend has increased: +9%

Q1 Overseas Analysis

  • Overseas tourism to Scotland has increased 3% in trips and 9% in expenditure for the rolling 12 month period of April 2016 to March 2017. This was driven largely by a 19% increase in trips and 40% in expenditure by visitors from North America. Favourable exchange rates during this period may have attributed to this increase.
  • Q1/2017 report on visitscotland.org

    http://www.visitscotland.org/pdf/2017_Q1_Stats_Summary.pdf

    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.
    • 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/
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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.
    • 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