15.5 million tourists visited Scotland last year to the end of June 2015; up by 7% vs previous year

EDINBURGH, 2015-10-15 — /Travel PR News/ — Overseas and domestic tourism visitors to Scotland have both increased by seven per cent in the last year to the end of June 2015 according to figures published this morning.

With overseas and domestics visitors combined over 15.5 million tourists visited Scotland last year and spent over £5 billion, an increase of 10 per cent from the previous 12 months.

The figures also show:

  • An increase of visitor numbers from Europe of six per cent and an increase in expenditure of seven per cent
  • An increase of expenditure of 16per cent from tourists coming from North America who spent £488 million in the 12 months
  • The eight per cent increase in domestic visitors to Scotland is set against no increase in domestic visitors for Great Britain as a whole

Commenting on the figures Tourism Minister Fergus Ewing said:

“These figures are hugely encouraging for the Scottish tourism industry as we continue to outperform Great Britain as a whole.

“The rise in both visitors and expenditure show that Scotland is a destination that offers quality experiences and visitors are prepared to spend their money in our hotels, tourism attractions and restaurants.

“This success is as a result of the efforts of our hotels, B&B’s self-catering properties, caravan and holiday home parks, visitor attractions, restaurants and cafes and generally the people who work to make our visitors welcome to Scotland.   We have upped our game and improved standards of accommodation food and seen record investment across the sector – both public and private.

“This is despite their being amongst the highest VAT and Air Passenger Duty in the world – and despite the failure of the UK Government to provide Scotland with proper air slots at London airports as they dither and delay for further years over the Heathrow – Gatwick debate.

“I’m pleased to see the increase in tourists from Europe who now spend over £960 million here in Scotland. This is especially good news in light of the strong Euro during this period.

“Scotland continues to welcome all our visitors warmly and has a growing reputation internationally as a place to visit.”

Malcolm  Roughead, Chief Executive of VisitScotland said:

“It is encouraging that despite increased competition from other markets Scottish tourism is continuing to perform well, particularly in relation to overall spend by visitors and it’s good to see that the European market remains robust in spite of the Euro’s weakness against the Pound.

“2015 has ensured the global spotlight remains firmly on Scottish shores, thanks in part, to the culinary celebrations of the Year of Food and Drink and Scotland’s sterling event line up. The creation and introduction of new and direct flights means it is also now easier than ever for visitors to get here.

“Both this year and last has given us a taste of what is possible when the Scottish tourism industry harnesses its skills, enthusiasm and dedication. As we move towards the Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design in 2016 and beyond, we must continue investing and working together, using all our strengths – our scenery, world-famous attractions, enthralling events and our warm and welcoming people – to keep Scotland at the forefront of visitors’ minds.”


The figures which cover Q2 2014 – Q2 2015 are published by the Office of National Statistics and VisitScotland.

Overseas Travel and Tourism – Quarterly Release


Chris Nabney :  0131 244 2670 / 07867 375 396

Notes to Editors

  • Follow us on twitter: @visitscotnews
  • VisitScotland is Scotland’s national tourism organisation. Its core purpose is to maximise the economic benefit of tourism to Scotland.
  • The organisation’s core objective is to contribute to the Tourism 2020 Strategy ambition of growing tourism revenues by £1 billion by 2020.
  • This will be supported by seven overarching strategies:
    1. Marketing: we will market Scotland and its outstanding assets to visitors from all parts of the world, including the promotion of Scotland to people living in Scotland to visit different parts of the country
    2. Events: we will support the national events strategy and its delivery, and sustain, develop and promote Scotland’s international profile as one of the world’s foremost events destinations
    3. Internationalisation and International Engagement: we will utilise all our platforms to enable Scottish-based tourism businesses to better understand international opportunities and market to a global audience and we will work within One Scotland Partnerships to optimise the potential of Scotland’s Diaspora and our strategic partners at regional, European and global levels
    4. Customer Experience: we will provide information and inspiration to visitors both locally and globally via their preferred medium of choice
    5. Quality and Sustainability: we will provide support and advice to businesses, with the goal of improving the quality and sustainability of the tourism sector in Scotland. We will provide quality assurance to visitors through our Quality Schemes
    6. Inclusive Tourism: we will strive to make tourism in Scotland inclusive and available to all
    7. Working in Partnership: we will listen to and work with the industry, partners and communities to shape our offering and support
  • VisitScotland works together with tourism businesses to make tourism a success for everyone and ensure the industry continues to grow.
  • The organisation employs 700 people and has offices and VisitScotland Information Centres across Scotland.
  • According to a recent Deloitte study, the tourism economy supports 270,000 jobs in Scotland in 20,000 diverse businesses. The same study calculates that the tourism economy contributes £11 billion annually (direct and indirect impact, including day visits) and supports around 10 per cent of employment in Scotland. Almost 16 million tourists take overnight trips to Scotland.
  • For VisitScotland’s press releases go to http://www.visitscotland.org/media_centre.aspx, tourism statistics and frequently asked questions go to http://www.visitscotland.org/
  • Where possible, a Gaelic speaker will be made available for broadcast interviews on request (Far an tèid iarraidh, agus far am bheil sin nar comas, bruidhinnidh neach le Gàidhlig aig agallamh)
  • For holiday information on Scotland go to www.visitscotland.com
  • For information about business events in Scotland go to www.conventionscotland.com

Year of Food and Drink 2015

  • 2015 is the Year of Food and Drink, a celebration of Scotland’s natural larder and the role that food and drink plays in shaping our economic success.
  • Scotland generates over £2.5m per day through food and drink tourism.
  • A series of themed months will create an appetite for key areas of Scotland’s food and drink industries – from seafood and whisky to berries and high-quality meat
  • For more information, visit www.visitscotland.com/tastescotland

SOURCE: VisitScotland


15.5 million tourists visited Scotland last year to the end of June 2015; up by 7% vs previous year

15.5 million tourists visited Scotland last year to the end of June 2015; up by 7% vs previous year