Overseas visitor boost

International tourists visiting Scotland broke through the 500 million spend barrier in the second quarter of the year for the first time.
International tourists visiting Scotland broke through the 500 million spend barrier in the second quarter of the year for the first time.

International tourists visiting Scotland broke through the £500 million spend barrier in the second quarter of the year for the first time, according to figures published this week.

Overseas visitors spent £540 million in the second quarter of 2016 compared to £493 million in same period in 2015. This is the highest quarter two spend figures recorded.

Visitors from Europe spent £276 million in the quarter up to June 2016, more than half of the overseas expenditure in this period.

Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs Fiona Hyslop said: “It is encouraging that overseas tourists are spending more when they visit Scotland. These figures highlight the hard work undertaken by our industry to make Scotland a must-visit destination.

“Scotland is famed for its warm welcome and these figures prove that visitors are prepared to come here to enjoy our incredible views, top class attractions and to spend in our hotels, shops and restaurants.

“External factors, such as difficult trading conditions and the economic uncertainty caused in the run up to the EU referendum, continue to present challenges for our tourism sector in a competitive international market.

“However, our industry, which employs 217,000 people is resilient and continues to thrive.”