Tourist spend soars

Sharp rise in North American visitors.

Spending by North American visitors leapt to £633 million in the twelve months to the end September 2016, a 28% increase on the previous year, according to figures published today.

This represents the highest 12-month rolling period expenditure figure on record. Visitor numbers from the region also rose sharply, with a 14% increase to September 2016

There was an overall 6% increase in international tourists spending in Scotland to September 2016.

Although there was a 7% drop in European markets, the majority of international visits to Scotland still come from Europe.

Tourism Secretary Fiona Hyslop said:

“North America is an important international market. These excellent figures confirm visitors from the region continue to spend more when they visit Scotland. It’s great news for our hotels, shops and restaurants that depend on tourism revenue.

“Scotland’s tourism businesses, and their 217,000 jobs, work incredibly hard to make our country a must-visit destination for foreign travellers.

“Visitors can be assured that when they come to Scotland, they will receive a warm welcome and experience spectacular scenery and top class attractions.

“Our tourism sector operates in a highly competitive international market. European markets have registered a dip, which may be linked to uncertainty over safety and security affecting travel.”


The ONS statistics are available at:

Due to an error in the Great Britain Tourism Survey, domestic tourism figures have not been published. Corrected data will be published by VisitScotland when available at:


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