The number of domestic tourist visits to Scotland jumped nine percent, to around 12.9 million, in the year to the end of September 2015.
The Great Britain Tourism Survey published today also shows that expenditure on domestic tourism visits – visitors from Scotland, England and Wales staying for at least one night – rose by 14 per cent to over £3.2 billion in the year to the end of September 2015, outperforming Great Britain as a whole.
Domestic overnight visits account for over 80 per cent of all tourism visits to Scotland.
There were 15.5 million overseas and domestic visitors to Scotland in the year to September 2015, a rise of seven per cent, and for the first time total expenditure was over £5 billion, rising eight per cent.
Tourism Minister Fergus Ewing said:
“This is an excellent set of figures that shows Scottish tourism goes from strength to strength.
“Scotland’s tourism offer is unrivalled and, despite last summer’s washout weather, over a million more visitors came to Scotland, spending eight per cent more compared to the year before.
“That’s solid proof that people are prepared to come here to enjoy our natural assets, tourism attractions and quality experiences, and to spend in our hotels, shops and restaurants. With world class events like last year’s British Open at St Andrews, and a hugely successful Year of Food and Drink, these figures are something to celebrate.
“The whole of the tourism industry should be applauded for making every visitor welcome. We must keep the momentum going. In 2016, the Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design, the industry has a further opportunity to showcase the best of what Scotland has to offer.”
Mike Cantlay, Chairman of VisitScotland said:
“Scottish tourism continues to thrive and grow despite a backdrop of difficult economic trading conditions hitting the travel industry throughout the world. Many thought 2014 would be the big year for Scottish tourism, but I’m thrilled to see a continuing strong performance in 2015. The tourism industry has worked hard to improve everything from quality to value for money and this is reflected in these fantastic results – what a wonderful reflection on all their hard work.”