The announcement of the ONS Travel Trends 2017 statistics today is an enormous boost for Scotland’s tourism industry. These figures reflect the significant commitment, investment and focus by VisitScotland in bringing these international markets to Scotland with their hugely successful campaigns.
Scotland’s airports must also be congratulated for their efforts in bringing new international routes to Scotland, a major factor in the growth of tourism numbers.
Tourism businesses in Scotland are challenged in their ability to invest in delivering the experiences expected by today’s visitor due to the rising costs and the current squeeze on domestic visitor spend. The instability around our future departure from the EU and issues such as the open skies agreement, movement of workers and the price of goods remains a key concern for most tourism businesses. Our international market has never been more important for the future of Scotland’s tourism industry. This is an all year round market for Scotland and it’s vital that we ensure that our tourism businesses are able to meet and exceed the demands of our international visitors at all times of the year.
Our sector has maintained a resilient and confident approach during the past two years of particularly turbulent times economically and politically and the continued collaboration between the tourism industry, Scottish Government and our public agencies has not only strengthened industry, our way of working is now viewed by our international counterparts as a ‘best practice’ for how things should be done. Today’s figures mirror this focused, cohesive approach of the last few years.
Our priority will be to continue to build the foundations for sustained growth for Scotland’s tourism industry in partnership with VisitScotland, the Scottish Government and its public agencies and ensure that every tourist who visits us leaves having enjoyed the quality, authentic experience which is at the heart of the Tourism Strategy.
The figures are available to view here