Scotland business

Rise in number of British tourists to Scotland

Edinburgh Castle Image copyright Thinkstock
Image caption Edinburgh has always been a favourite destination for tourists

The number of tourist visits to Scotland from Britain has increased by 9%, a survey has suggested.

The Great Britain Tourism Survey indicates that the figure rose to about 12.9 million in the year to the end of September 2015.

It also suggests that expenditure on domestic tourism visits - visitors from Britain staying for at least one night - rose by 14% to more than £3.2bn.

The report said this meant Scotland was outperforming Britain as a whole.

Domestic overnight visits - from people in England, Scotland and Wales - accounted for more than 80% of all tourism visits to Scotland.

There were 15.5 million overseas and domestic visitors to Scotland in the year to September 2015, a rise of 7%, and for the first time total expenditure was more than £5bn, an 8% increase.

'Washout weather'

Tourism minister Fergus Ewing said: "This is an excellent set of figures that shows Scottish tourism goes from strength to strength.

"Scotland's tourism offer is unrivalled and, despite last summer's washout weather, over a million more visitors came to Scotland, spending eight per cent more compared to the year before.

"That's solid proof that people are prepared to come here to enjoy our natural assets, tourism attractions and quality experiences, and to spend in our hotels, shops and restaurants."

Image copyright Thinkstock

He added: "We must keep the momentum going. In 2016, the Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design, the industry has a further opportunity to showcase the best of what Scotland has to offer."

Mike Cantlay, chairman of VisitScotland said: "Scottish tourism continues to thrive and grow despite a backdrop of difficult economic trading conditions hitting the travel industry throughout the world.

"Many thought 2014 would be the big year for Scottish tourism, but I'm thrilled to see a continuing strong performance in 2015.

"The tourism industry has worked hard to improve everything from quality to value for money and this is reflected in these fantastic results - what a wonderful reflection on all their hard work."

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