Overseas tourism visits to Scotland increased in 2013 according to figures released by Office for National Statistics. Overseas tourists increased by 10% in the full year 2013 and spent £1.68 billion, 20% more than in 2012.
The majority of overseas visitors came from Europe as did the majority of overseas expenditure.
There was a 32% increase in spend from visitors from places such as Australia and India (excluding Europe and North America). Tourism Minister Fergus Ewing said, “While 2013 was a challenging time for our tourism economy, visitors from overseas markets continue to grow. These encouraging figures illustrate the demand from long-haul tourists for holidaying in Scotland.
“The rises in expenditure suggest that Scotland is as a destination offering quality experiences and visitors are prepared to spend their money in our hotels, tourism attractions and restaurants as a result.
“This success is also due to the warmth of welcome of the people who work in the tourism industry. Their drive and commitment is delivering results and helping to provide a memorable visitor experience for our guests.
He concluded, “This year of Homecoming will see the eyes of the world focussed on Scotland as we host the Commonwealth Games, Ryder Cup and the MTV Europe Music Awards. People from across the globe with an affinity to Scotland as well as those without are invited to join the celebration which will provide a lasting legacy for our tourism industry.”