Tourism on the rise

The number of overseas tourists visiting Scotland rose by almost a quarter in the 12 months to the end of March 2018, compared to the same period in 2016/17.


Fri, 07 Sep 2018


Scottish Government

Figures released by the Office of National Statistics (ONS) statistics for Q2 2017 – Q1 2018 showed 3.4 million overseas tourists visited Scotland, spending £2.4 billion, an increase of 29% compared to the previous 12 months.

The number of UK visitors to Scotland rose by 11% to 12 million while expenditure increased by £401 million to £3.1 billion.  

Around 29% more European tourists visited Scotland during the period, with 2.1 million visits recorded.

Across the UK as a whole the number of visits from European tourists fell by 2% and expenditure fell by 1% in the 12 months to the end of March 2018.

Tourism Secretary Fiona Hyslop said:

“These figures are good news for the tourism industry with more tourists from home and abroad, choosing to visit and spend money in Scotland, compared to the same period in 2016/17.

“Tourism is one of our most important industries, showcasing Scotland as a great place to live, work, study and invest in, so it’s great to see that our landscape, culture and hospitality continues to be enjoyed by so many visitors.

“It is also very encouraging to see that tourism in Scotland bucked the UK trend and saw a rise in visitors and expenditure from Europe.

 "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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