Press release -

Alive and well!

‘Scotland is well placed to capitalise and embrace the global movement that is wellness tourism’, according to VisitScotland.

The national tourism organisation has dedicated its annual Trends paper, published today (Sunday 20th January) to examining the ‘global consumer phenomena’, highlighting a range of micro-trends that can help visitors enhance and maintain their personal wellbeing.

Valued globally at $639bn in 2017, wellness tourism has grown more than twice as fast as tourism overall with more and more visitors looking for immersive experiences or ways to improve self-development.

Designed to stimulate thought among Scottish tourism businesses, VisitScotland Trends 2019 is encouraging tourism businesses to continue embracing the movement by using natural assets such as stunning landscapes, provenance of food and drink and culture to create products that appeal to the growing wellness market.

Examples of potential trends for 2019 include:

Restorative Recreation - using recent studies, which have highlighted the long-term, physical health improvements associated with time spent in green spaces, this trend focuses on Scotland’s world-famous landscapes and scenery and the potential to grow the country’s outdoor activities’ industry to capitalise on the emotional benefits of ‘ecotherapy’.

Creative Retreats - with the overall experience and ability to create lifelong memories becoming an increasingly important part of travelling, this trend focuses on the role of hobbies, skills development and unique opportunities. The paper suggests ‘writing workshops, artists retreats, outdoor survival schools and cookery courses could all add to the attractiveness of a destination. By sharing your interests with your visitor you can build relationships and garner those all important referrals to friends and relatives.’

Trav-agogy - this trend focuses on the journey of visitors rather than the overall destination. With more visitors looking to learn about the places they are visiting, immersing themselves in the local culture or learning about history and heritage, whether by learning a new skill or through an immersive learning experience.

Green Getaways – with more visitors appreciating the impact travel can have on the environment and looking at ways to offset this while still achieving the experiences they desire, there is an opportunity for tourism businesses to demonstrate their own practices or demonstrate how they can support their visitors’ objectives.

Tourism Secretary Fiona Hyslop said:“2019 looks to be another exciting year for tourism with this new paper highlighting the potential for businesses to invest in experiences which are beneficial for people’s health and wellbeing.

“Whether it’s our fantastic scenery which is encouraging people to experience our great outdoors, or activities like cookery workshops or outdoor retreats which are helping to develop people’s skills, it’s clear that Scotland really does have something for everyone.”

Chris Greenwood, VisitScotland Senior Insights Manager, said: “Our annual trends paper is designed to help the tourism sector, showing them what consumers want and inspiring businesses to adapt or develop their products accordingly.

“Wellness tourism is a trend that’s not going away and is expected to continue growing. With wellness travelers found to be very high-spending, high-yield tourists, there is huge potential for businesses who want to appeal to this market, creating experiences that enlighten the sense and feed the soul. Fortunately, Scotland’s ability to embrace wellness within our visitor economy is embedded within our tourism industry DNA.

“Tourism is more than a holiday experiences- it is the heartbeat of the Scottish economy and touches every community, generating income, jobs and social change. “

To view VisitScotland Trends 2019, please visit: -

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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 five overarching strategies: Marketing, Events, Quality and Sustainability, Inclusive Tourism, International Engagement.
  • The organisation employs 700 people and has offices and VisitScotland Information Centres across Scotland.
  • Spending by tourists in Scotland generates around £12 billion of economic activity in the wider Scottish supply chain and contributes around £6 billion to Scottish GDP (in basic prices). This represents about 5% of total Scottish GDP
  • 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 tourism in Scotland go to

Scotland’s Themed Years

  • Following an industry consultation, the Themed Years will now take place every second year to enable more time for planning and opportunities for collaboration.
  • 2020 has been designated as a year in which Scotland’s Coasts and Waters will be showcased and celebrated with a programme of activity designed to support the nation’s tourism and events sectors.
  • The year, led by VisitScotland will sustain and build upon the momentum of Scotland’s preceding Themed Years to spotlight, celebrate and promote opportunities to experience and enjoy Scotland’s unrivalled Coasts and Waters, encouraging responsible engagement and participation from the people of Scotland and our visitors.
  • A year-long programme of events, activities and ideas will shine a spotlight on the impact our waters have had on Scotland, from the formation of beautiful natural features to the creation of our national drink – whisky.
  • Join the conversation using #YCW2020
  • 2022 will be the Year of Scotland’s Stories - a celebration of our rich literature, film, oral traditions and myths and legends.

Press contacts

Carrie MacWilliam

Press contact Senior Corporate Press Officer - National Contact for media enquiries on: Travel media (Scotland); Year of Young People; UK Marketing; Dundee; Fife; Angus; Perthshire 0131 472 2052

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