Edinburgh Castle
Edinburgh Castle

Visitors from North America spent £732 million in the 12 months to the end of June 2017

Overseas visitors from North America spent £732 million in the 12 months to the end of June 2017, a 48% jump compared to £495 million in the previous 12 months.

There was a 38% increase in visits from North America, with more than 707,000 choosing Scotland as a destination in the 12 months to the end of June 2017 compared with the previous 12 months.

Across all international markets, there was a 11% increase in visits in the 12 months to the end of June 2017 with spending rising too by 19% to more than £2 billion.

VisitScotland Chief Executive, Malcolm Roughead said:

It is magnificent to see such spectacular growth from international markets in what has been a busy year for tourism in Scotland.  Across the board from accommodation provider to CalMac Ferries to Edinburgh and Glasgow airports, we have heard from many who have had a record-breaking year.

“Such major growth from our international markets can be attributed to increased, targeted marketing activity in key North American and European countries, favourable exchange rates, increased capacity on flights and the Outlander effect which has taken the country by storm since the release of the popular TV series. 

“Domestically, the day trip and holiday market is booming in Scotland with a rise in visitors by 9.3% and 4.6% respectively in the first 6 months of the year and this is also reflected by the significant rise in Historic Environment Scotland attractions reported last week which is great to see during the Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology.

“Of course with great numbers comes great responsibility, and it is imperative the country’s tourism industry remains sustainable.  This includes looking at how we can share the tourism windfall with lesser known parts of Scotland and outside of peak season, alongside ensuring that infrastructure meets current and future demand.

“VisitScotland is committed to working in partnership with the government, businesses and communities so that Scotland remains a must-visit destination for future generations of holidaymakers.  Tourism is more than a holiday experience, it is integral to sustaining communities across Scotland by generating income, creating jobs and stimulating social change.”

Tourism Secretary Fiona Hyslop said:

“The continued rise in overseas tourists is encouraging. They are spending more too, particularly those coming from North America.

“It is great news for our economy. Scotland offers an memorable visitor experience for people that choose our country as their holiday destination.”