VisitScotland hails 'phenomenal' summer for Scots tourism

image copyrightSteve Carter

Scotland saw a sharp rise in both international and domestic visitors last summer, according to new figures.

The Office for National Statistics found there were 1.26 million trips by overseas visitors from July to September - a 14.6% year-on-year rise.

Figures from the Great Britain Tourism Survey suggested domestic visits were 10% up, at more than 3.5 million.

Overseas spend in Scotland increased by 4.3%, while the amount spent by British visitors was up by 24.7%.

For the first nine months of 2017, British residents made 8.3 million trips and spent £2.2bn taking overnight visits to Scotland.

Favourable exchange rates

Tourism body VisitScotland described the figures as "absolutely phenomenal".

It attributed the growth in part to favourable exchange rates and the use of Scottish locations for US TV series Outlander.

Chief executive Malcolm Roughead said: "Such exceptional increases across visits and spend can be attributed to myriad of different factors which have worked together to create a perfect blend for Scottish tourism.

"Key influences include increased capacity on air routes from countries all across the world, favourable exchange rates and of course the Outlander effect which has had a huge impact with many coming to experience the land that inspired the popular books and TV series."

He added: "More than that, we are noticing a real uplift in the staycation market with less people flying out of the UK for the first time in a number of years, meaning many are simply getting out and about exploring their own country."

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