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Let it grow!

Press Release   •   Dec 23, 2015 10:54 GMT

Scotland’s accommodation businesses are celebrating a bumper festive season after over a quarter reported an increase in bookings, VisitScotland can reveal.

Research commissioned by the national tourism organisation found 26% of businesses have enjoyed a jump in the number of bookings, compared to the Christmas and New Year period last year.

The findings follow the announcement that hotels in Glasgow are heading for a Hogmanay sell out. A recent survey of seven major city centre hotels, conducted by Glasgow City Marketing Bureau, revealed that they expected capacity to reach 99% on New Year’s Eve.

On average, visitors to Scotland from October to December stay more than 13 million nights and spend £955 million.

The increase in booking numbers comes off the back of the success of festive attractions, including the Virgin Money Street of Light at Edinburgh’s Christmas festival, which has seen visitors from across the globe snap up over 175,000 tickets for the dazzling event on the capital’s Royal Mile.

Malcom Roughead, Chief Executive of VisitScotland, said:

“At a time of year traditionally considered low season, we continue to see an increasing numbers of visitors enjoying the array of fantastic festive attractions on offer across Scotland during the winter.

“These encouraging findings are a really positive indication of a strong festive period for the Scottish accommodation sector, and Scottish Tourism in general

“This festive success leaves us perfectly placed as we prepare to showcase Scotland’s traditional and contemporary icons and our cutting-edge design to the world in the Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design 2016.”

The results of VisitScotland research are taken from the latest Scottish Accommodation Occupancy Survey (SAOS), commissioned by VisitScotland and conducted by TNS. The SAOS is used by VisitScotland to help monitor occupancy in Scotland’s tourist accommodation sectors.

For a complete guide of what’s on in Scotland during the winter download The A-Z of Winter in Scotland at:


For further information contact:

Stewart Ross

Corporate Press Officer

Tel: (0131) 472 2052

Mob: 07818075519

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, tourism statistics and frequently asked questions go to
    • 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
    • For information about business events in Scotland go to

    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