Tourism & Economic Development

Is tourism in Scotland booming?

Tourism is one of our most important industries, employing 207,000 people, creating jobs, supporting the local economy and building on our strong international reputation.


In 2017 the number of overseas visitors to Scotland increased by almost 17 per cent to 3.2 million – the highest level on record. Spending by overseas visitors was up to a record level too – up 23 per cent to £2.3 billion.


In recent years Scotland has had significant success in securing major events, including the Commonwealth Games and Ryder Cup in 2014. This year we are hosting the 124th Open Championships at Carnoustie and Glasgow is co-hosting the first-ever European Championships with Berlin. Scotland will also host the Solheim Cup in 2019 and the UEFA European Championships in 2020.


This year we have introduced a £6 million Rural Tourism Infrastructure Fund to help ensure the services and facilities tourists and communities need are provided. World-class tourist sites in Skye and Orkney are already benefitting from the funding.


As we get closer to the UK's departure from the EU, we will continue to do all we can to ensure people from across the EU and elsewhere are welcome to work in our tourism sector and visit our beautiful, vibrant country.

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