International tourism expenditure in Scotland from long-haul countries has risen in the last 12-month period according to official figures.
There was a 9% increase in spend from visitors from countries including Australia, India and China.
There was also a 5% increase in visitor numbers (from 368,000 to 386,000) from these same countries in the last year.
The official figures were published today by the Office for National Statistics.
Tourism minister Fergus Ewing said:
“While 2012 was a very challenging time for our tourism economy, visitors from markets such as India, Australia and China continue to grow. These figures show the demand from long-haul tourists for holidaying in Scotland.
“There are also encouraging signs for the future from Europe and the UK for the start of this year.
”Last year, the weather played a part in deterring domestic visitors and the Olympic Games kept people occupied for three weeks during the summer season.
“The rises in expenditure suggest that Scotland is thought of as a destination offering quality experiences and visitors are prepared to spend their money in our hotels, tourism attractions and restaurants as a result.
“New air routes such as the re-introduction of direct air links from Canada, and Easyjet, starting new routes from Europe to Scotland, will open up our country to more visitors.
“Virgin’s new routes into Scotland from Heathrow have connected Scotland to more than 30 global destinations and already we are seeing tour operators launching new tourist packages to Scotland as a result.
“We are well placed to make the most of that demand as we welcome the world to our second year of Homecoming in 2014, as well as take to the global stage as host to two of the biggest sporting events in the world – the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games and the Ryder Cup.
The Overseas tourism statistics are available at http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/publications/all-releases.html?definition=tcm%3A77-21825
Contact: Iain V Monk on 0131 244 2056 or 07771 555 601
Notes to Editors:
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- VisitScotland is Scotland’s national tourism organisation. Its core purpose is to maximise the economic benefit of tourism to Scotland.
- The organisation has three key roles:
- To market Scotland to all parts of the world to attract visitors
- To provide information – and inspiration – to visitors and potential visitors so they get the best out of a visit to Scotland
- To provide quality assurance to visitors and quality advice to the industry and partners to help the industry meet and strive to exceed customer expectations
- 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.
- 2014 is the year Scotland welcomes the world, when it hosts the Glasgow Commonwealth Games, the Ryder Cup at Gleneagles and more than 800 Homecoming events throughout the country.For more information on Homecoming Scotland 2014, go to www.visitscotland.com
- The VisitScotland Information Centre network is a unique face-to-face channel engaging with around five million visitors and locals each year. Everyone who uses a VisitScotland Information Centre goes on to spend an additional £5.35, generating over £24 million for Scotland’s economy.
- According to a recent Deloitte study, tourism employs 270,000 people in Scotland in 20,000 diverse businesses. The same study calculates that the industry 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 tourism in Scotland go to www.conventionscotland.com
- For more information on VisitScotland’s annual review please go to www.visitscotland.org/about_us/our_focus/annual_report.aspx