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Scottish tourism industry shows resilience amid global uncertainty

With the release today of 2016 Quarter 2 (April – June 2016) International Passenger Survey (IPS) tourism statistics by the UK Office of National Statistics (ONS), VisitScotland Chief Executive, Malcolm Roughead reflects on the first 6 months of 2016 for Scottish tourism:

 “It is positive to see that Scottish tourism is continuing to perform well in the first half of 2016 with an increase in both visits and spend year on year. And the news that, in the second quarter of the year, international visitors have broken through the £500million spend barrier for the first time ever is truly extraordinary.

 “In a period of global political and economic issues and uncertainties, it is heartening to see that Scotland has been able to enjoy continued growth and we must credit all those who work hard in the industry day in and day out to ensure our country stays high on visitors’ ‘must experience’ list. 

 “With greater airline connectivity than ever before, award-winning food and drink, outstanding accommodation and exciting new attractions, things are looking remarkably good for Scottish tourism, but we cannot afford to be complacent in such unpredictable times.  We must continue to invest, improve, and innovate to ensure we are resilient and that we remain integral to the Scottish economy.”

KEY FACTS

First half of year statistics (Jan – Jun 2016) – Overseas visitors

Overseas visits have increased:  +2.6%

Overseas spend has increased: +9.3%

Quarter 2 only statistics (Apr – Jun 2016) - Overseas visitors

Overseas visits have decreased:  -7.5%

Overseas spend has increased: +9.4%

The ONS statistics are available at:

http://www.ons.gov.uk/searchpublication?q=%22Overseas+Travel+and+Tourism%22&sortBy=release_date&q=%22Overseas+Travel+and+Tourism%22&size=10

Scottish Government release:

http://news.scotland.gov.uk/News/International-tourism-spend-up-2d17.aspx

Due to an error in the Great Britain Tourism Survey, domestic tourism figures have not been published. Corrected data will be published when available.

In context: Quarter 2 Overseas Analysis

  • Easter was in March 2016 and April 2015.

  • European Security situation was heightened following the aftermath of the Paris terrorism events of November 2015.  In June 2016 there were terrorist events in Florida, France and Belgium following growing tension.

  • The migrant situation within Europe resulted in a number of EU countries closing borders and implementing passport based travel requirements which may have affected travel attitudes.

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