Scotland sees a steady increase in tourism
Friday, July 21, 2023
Scotland’s tourism sector is experiencing a significant boom, with tourist spending surpassing pre-Covid levels, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
The first three months of 2023 saw cash spent by overseas visitors in Scotland rise by 70% compared to the same period four years ago. Tourists spent a total of £359 million during this time, up from £210 million in 2019.
The ONS figures also revealed a 29% increase in the number of overnight visits made by international travelers, reaching 572,000 visits from January to March 2023. In comparison, overnight visits in both England and Wales remained below 2019 levels.
The majority of visitors to Scotland in the first quarter of 2023 came from Europe, with 407,000 spending at least one night in the country. Additionally, there were 70,000 visitors from the US and 94,000 from other nations.
Tourism minister Richard Lochhead welcomed the positive statistics, stating that Scotland’s tourist numbers and spending have recovered faster than the rest of the UK. He expressed confidence in the country’s allure as an increasingly attractive destination for international tourists, highlighting Scotland’s unique culture, history, and landscapes, along with upcoming global events like the Scottish Open Golf Championship and the UCI World Cycling Championships. Lochhead also mentioned Edinburgh’s renowned festivals, which are expected to further drive tourist numbers over the summer.