Tourism figures

Increased spending from more European visitors.

Domestic tourists spent more than £200 million more in visits to Scotland in the last year, an increase of 8% on the previous year.

Although combined overseas and domestic visits dipped by 7%, expenditure for these markets rose by 2% in the year to end of March 2016.

Almost 300,000 European visitors visited Scotland in first quarter of 2016, up from 206,000 in the same period in 2015. During this time, expenditure increased from £77 million to £108 million.

Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs Fiona Hyslop said:

“Spending from domestic visitors has increased despite the industry operating under challenging conditions. The unique Spirit of Scotland continues to make our country a must-visit destination that continues to outperform many UK regions on trips.

“European tourists, in particular, continue to flock to Scotland and are spending more. We continue to welcome their visits and the significant contribution that they make to Scotland’s economy.”

Notes to editors

The ONS publication ‘Overseas Travel and Tourism: Quarter 1: 2016’ provides information on completed visits to the UK from overseas visitors, and visits overseas by UK residents. Stats are available at:

The rolling year figures cover the period April 2014 – March 2015 vs April 2015 – March 2016.

Visit Scotland put the rolling year-on-year drop in visitors down to the extraordinary global events the country hosted in 2014 including the Commonwealth Games, the Year of Homecoming and the Ryder Cup.


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