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Scotland Experiences Record Tourist Numbers

Scotland has been enjoying a huge boost to their local economy this year as millions of visitors headed across the borders into the northern country.

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In a burst of tourism which experts have said to be credited to the major events – the Ryder’s Cup, the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and the Commonwealth Games – Scotland’s tourism chiefs have released figures that show the country enjoyed the highest numbers of visitors for over seven years – and the latest economy reports show visitor spending are expected to follow suit.

In Glasgow, host city of this year’s Commonwealth Games, hoteliers have said their revenue during July has shown a 200 to 300 per cent jump in contrast to the same period in previous years.

In 2013, the tourism industry in Scotland also enjoyed a double-digit growth in both visitor numbers and visitor spend, with Government figures suggesting that the number of overseas visitors to Scotland for the year to March 2014 rose by more than 13 per cent. Visitor spending also grew by 14 per cent.

Domestic visitor numbers for 2013 didn’t show much improvement on previous years, but with so many worldwide-known events within the country this year, domestic visitor numbers are expected to soar in this year’s report.

Derek MacKay, the minister for Local Government and Planning said, “Following recent increases in staycations and domestic holidays, the upturn in the economy is seeing a return to more international travel. However, it is encouraging to see that spending levels are being maintained by visitors in Scotland.”

The country is often listed as one of the top places in the world to visit, and the increasing tourist numbers only underline this. Mike Cantlay, the chairman of tourism agency VisitScotland said, “The growth in our tourism markets is superb, in both visits and expenditure, and illustrates increasing confidence within global markets. In particular, these results point to the success of our international marketing campaigns such as Meet the Scots and VisitScotland’s partnership with Disney surrounding the movie Brave.”

“Crucial to our success has been attracting more direct flights than ever before to our airports across Scotland. That ease of access and improved air connectivity has been key to attracting visitors throughout the world and the UK.”

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