£5.5 billion tourism spend targeted.
The Scottish Government has pledged to increase total spend from overnight visitors to Scotland to £5.5 billion by 2020.
Tourism Secretary Fiona Hyslop will reiterate that Scotland must deliver world-class events to ensure the success of the country’s tourism sector.
Figures published last year estimated the value of the Scottish events industry to be worth £3.5bn. Edinburgh’s year-round festivals also generated £313m for the Scottish economy during 2015.
Scotland has impressively built on past success in securing major events having hosted the Ryder Cup and the Commonwealth Games in 2014 to secure a number of significant events in the sporting calendar in the coming years. Scotland will welcome the European Rugby Champions Cup, European Challenge Cup and World Badminton Championships in 2017, the 147th Open Championships at Carnoustie, the new multi-sport European Championships in 2018, the European Athletics Indoor Championships and Solheim Cup in 2019 and, in 2020, will be a host for the UEFA European Football Championships (EURO 2020).
Speaking ahead of a major events debate in the Scottish Parliament, Ms Hyslop said:
“Last year’s total overnight visitor spend in Scotland reached £4.9 billion. I’m committed to making sure that figure is increased to at least £5.5 billion by 2020, but this can only be achieved through a Team Scotland approach involving the public, private and third sectors working together. We have demonstrated we are a world leader in staging major events and we will ensure we continue to build on and benefit from our major events strategy by setting ambitious targets for ourselves.
“Our industries, including tourism and events, are facing uncertainty following the UK’s decision to leave the European Union and the Scottish Government is working hard to support and promote economic stability. We are committed to enhancing Scotland’s international reputation as a dynamic and creative nation and world-class tourism destination, whilst retaining our position as a leader in sport, art, culture and music events, and major conferences.
“We have enjoyed enormous tourism success to date but we cannot become complacent. It’s vital Team Scotland continues to work together in partnership to sell our nation as a world-class destination.”