5 reasons Scottish tourism is going from strength to strength

By , 14/01/17
Whether it’s the scenic beauty of the Highlands, the world’s best golf courses or Edinburgh’s globally-renowned festivals - it’s little wonder tourists are flocking to Scotland.  
Tourism in Scotland is going from strength to strength - here’s how. 

1.  Scotland is the place to be. Spending by overseas visitors to Scotland is up 19 per cent in the 12 months to the end of June 2017 - and visits are up 11 per cent. Rough Guides have ranked Scotland as the second top country in the world to visit in 2017. Rough Guide readers have also voted Scotland their top destination of the year and the most welcoming country. 
In 2015, Edinburgh and Glasgow ranked in the top five for tourist visits in the UK outside London.
Over the next three years £16 billion will be invested in major projects across Scotland that will improve the experience of visitors to Scotland, including improved transport links and cultural attractions.

And Scotland will now be promoted to 70 million potential new visitors in a partnership between VisitScotland and TripAdvisor - the first of its kind in Europe.
2.  Our growing tourism industry is creating jobs. The number of people working in tourism in Scotland increased by 11 per cent in 2015 compared to 2014. In Great Britain as a whole the increase was just 4 per cent.
3.  Scotland is rich in culture, arts and history. We have six World Heritage Sites on the UNESCO World Heritage List, and our iconic buildings and monuments attract thousands of visitors every year. 
And to mark the Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology in 2017 the Scottish Government will invest an extra £6.6 million in the conservation of Scotland’s iconic historical buildings and monuments.

Scotland’s world-class museums are set to benefit from £600,000 of Scottish Government funding too.

4.  The economic benefit of our festivals is huge. With a combined audience of 4.5 million in 2015, Edinburgh’s festivals are as big as the World Cup and second only to the Olympic Games. In fact, the economic benefit to Scotland was an incredible £313 million in 2015.
This year the Scottish Government will support the Edinburgh Festivals with £2.3 million. Over the past eight years funding of over £17 million has supported artists to create and showcase their work to the world.
5.  Scotland has stunning scenery, thriving habitats and amazing wildlife. Almost half of visitors to Scotland in 2015 visited for our scenery and landscape.

In 2011 Scotland became the first country in the world to establish a natural capital index to measure the economic value of Scotland’s environment. We placed the protection and enhancement of Scotland’s natural capital at the heart of our economic strategy, published last year. And, we’ve taken substantial action in recent years to protect wild land, wildlife and marine biodiversity.

Read more about our support for tourism in our Policy Base. 


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