North American visitors continue to flock to Scotland

River Tummell near Loch Faskally, Perthshire

The Scottish Government / Riaghaltas na h-Alba Press Release – 15th January 2015

Overseas tourists are spending more

Visits to Scotland from North American tourists rose by 32 per cent in the year to the end of September 2014, which led to a 35 per cent growth in expenditure, according to new statistics.

Figures from the Office for National Statistics show that North American visitor numbers rose sharply from 408,000 in the year to the end of September 2013 to 538,000 in the year to the end of September 2014.

Overall, overseas tourist visits increased from 2.4 million in the year to the end of September 2013 to 2.7 million in the year to the end of September 2014.

Overall, spending by tourists from overseas was also up, rising from £1.6 billion in the year to the end of September 2013 to £1.8 billion in the year to the end of September 2014.

Set against a general decline in domestic visitors across the UK, Scotland experienced an 8 per cent decline in the year to the end of September 2014 and a 3 per cent decline in domestic visitor spending. This decline was mirrored across the whole of the UK where domestic visits were also down 8%.

Tourism Minister Fergus Ewing said:

“The Ryder Cup, Commonwealth Games and Homecoming 2014 provided a unique opportunity to encourage more and more visitors to come and enjoy Scotland.

“As these impressive figures demonstrate our international guests have, in their hundreds of thousands, accepted the invitation.

“The people at Scottish tourism’s frontline, the staff in our hotels, cafés, restaurants and tourist attractions, are delivering results and providing a memorable experience for visitors from home and abroad.”

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