Scottish tourism visitor numbers and spend up

Dunnottar Castle
Dunnottar Castle

Overseas tourism visits to Scotland increased in the last year which led to an increase in expenditure from foreign visitors.

That’s according to figures released by the Office for National Statistics which show that overseas tourists increased by 10% in the full year 2013 and spent £1.68 billion, 20% more than in 2012.

The majority of overseas visitors came from Europe as did the majority of overseas expenditure.

There was a 32% increase in spend by people from the rest of the world, excluding Europe and North America, such as Australia and India.

There was also a significant increase in tourists visiting rural areas (the North and South of Scotland) - 220,000 trips in 2013 compared to 2012.

Tourism Minister Fergus Ewing said: “While 2013 was a challenging time for our tourism economy, visitors from overseas markets continue to grow.

“The rises in expenditure suggest that Scotland as a destination is offering quality experiences and visitors are prepared to spend their money in our hotels, tourism attractions and restaurants as a result.

“This year of Homecoming will see the eyes of the world focussed on us as we host the Commonwealth Games and Ryder Cup.

“People from across the globe with an affinity to Scotland, and those without, are invited to join the celebration - providing a lasting legacy for our tourism industry.”