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Growth in tourism from North America

The quarterly (Q3 2016) International Passenger Survey (IPS) tourism statistics by the UK Office of National Statistics (ONS) have shown growth in the North American market in both visits and spend.

A favourable exchange rate has played its part, but a focus on airline capacity and connectivity – with around 90,000 extra seats on services from North America in 2016 – alongside a concentrated marketing approach, has proved a real formula for success.

The report does show a slight dip in European visits from core markets such as France and Germany, but with uncertainty over safety and security during 2016 in these countries, it is perhaps understandable. However, it is interesting to see a significant rise of 48% from our Eastern European markets.

Tourism is more than a holiday experience – it creates jobs and sustains communities in every corner of Scotland all year round. Thanks to the hard work of tourism businesses across the country, we are on track to reach the industry’s Tourism Scotland 2020 target to generate economic growth.

In 2017, VisitScotland is working hard to build on the strong foundations created by the success of the Spirit of Scotland and create and invest in more innovative projects, events and activities to inspire people all over the world to put Scotland at the top of their must-see list.

With the Rough Guide recommending Scotland as a top place to visit in 2017, and a country-wide celebration of Scotland's Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology 2017, we are starting in a very strong place.

Q3 statistics for overseas visitors to Scotland

Quarter 3 only (July – September 2016)
Overseas visits have increased: 4.5%
Overseas spend has increased: 13.9%

Year to date (January – September 2016)
Overseas visits have increased: 3.5%
Overseas spend has increased: 11.8%

Rolling year (October 2015 – September 2016)
Overseas visits have increased: 0.3%
Overseas spend has increased: 6.3%

Read the full press release for Q3 overseas analysis.

Or view the ONS statistics.

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