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Visitor numbers to Scotland increase

The number of visitors to Scotland rose by 5 per cent over the year, according to figures published yesterday.

   The results of The Office of National Statistics publication “Overseas travel and tourism” combined with those from the Great Britain Tourism Survey show that there was also a 15 per cent increase in expenditure by visitors to Scotland over the twelve months from March 2011 to March 2012.  

Internationally, the number of visitors rose by one per cent and the domestic “staycation” saw a six per cent increase in visits to Scotland from within Great Britain.  There was a 21 per cent rise in the amount domestic visitors spent and a four per cent increase from international visitors.

   Figures comparing Q1 of 2011 with Q1 of 2012 show that a 9 per cent increase in the overseas market, offset by an 18 per cent fall in domestic visitors, helped boost spending by 1 per cent.  These figures are based on a small sample size and should be treated with caution.

  Tourism Minister Fergus Ewing said:   “We are continuing to see growth in Scotland’s tourism sector and that is encouraging, especially in the current global economic climate.  

"This is one of our key industries and increases in visitor numbers and the amount they spend on their trips are good for Scotland’s wider economy."

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