Scotland’s Whisky distilleries remain a star visitor attraction
10 Aug 2016
Scotch tourism continues to grow
Distillery visits hit record 1.6m last year
Scotland's whisky distilleries hosted more visits than ever
before in 2015, proving once again that they are a 'must see' for
domestic and international tourists.
New research by the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) found that
distillery visits increased by 7% to 1.6 million between 2014 and
last year. Scotch Whisky distillery visits have increased by more
than 20% since 2010.
Collectively, Scotch Whisky distilleries rank among some of the
most popular UK visitor attractions, with a similar number of
visits annually as the likes of Edinburgh Castle and London's St.
The SWA survey also found that visitors to distilleries spend on
average around £25 per head during a visit. Total spend at
distillery visitor centres in 2015 was £50 million, up from £27m in
Around half of Scotland's 118 whisky distilleries are open to
the public. Scotch Whisky companies have invested significantly in
visitor centres and tourism facilities in recent years, with the
success of whisky festivals such as Islay and Speyside also helping
to attract new visitors to the country.
Distilleries reported that the largest proportion of visitors
came from Scotland and other parts of the UK, Germany, the USA and
France - reflecting some of the largest markets for Scotch around
Julie Hesketh-Laird, Scotch Whisky Association deputy chief
"Scotch Whisky distilleries offer high-quality and unique
opportunities to visit the homes of some of Scotland's most famous
brands. It is testament to Scotch Whisky companies that visits have
increased at a time when overall Scottish visitor numbers fell.
This brings important benefits to the wider rural economy, as
distillery visitors will also then be staying at the local B&B,
visiting a local pub or café, or buying souvenirs of their stay in
Notes to Editors
The findings are based on a survey of a sample of distillery
visitor centres by the SWA. Figures given represent paying
customers visiting industry visitor centres in 2015.
*Comparative figures for other visitor attractions were sourced
from the following news release by the Association of Leading
Visitor Attractions (ALVA): http://alva.org.uk/details.cfm?p=423
An infographic to accompany this release can be found below.
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