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by Kate Shannon
20 January 2015
Discovering Scotland - tourism

Discovering Scotland - tourism

According to the Scottish Government, spending by tourists in Scotland generates £10bn of economic activity in the wider Scottish supply chain and contributes £5bn to Scottish GDP (in basic prices). This represents just under five per cent of total Scottish GDP.

While figures for the whole of 2014 aren’t yet available, in answer to a parliamentary question in December, Tourism Minister Fergus Ewing said the provisional figures for the 12 months between July 2013 to June 2014, show combined domestic and overseas visitor expenditure of £4.6bn, a six per cent increase in the same period in 2012/13 (£4.3bn).

“In terms of the positive impact of the Commonwealth Games, the XX Commonwealth Games Visitor Impact Study: Interim Report stated that day visitors to the Games spent a total of £66m and overnight visitors a total of £216m,” he added.

The number of jobs in the tourism sector has increased by 29,700 between 2012 and 2013, according to a recent Business Register and Employment Survey.

Employment in tourism has increased by 16.4 per cent from 181,500 to 211,200 in the last year. Within the sector, the largest rises in the number of jobs are in the restaurant business and mobile food services, which has risen by 19,500, and hotels and similar accommodation, which is up by 3,500.

The industry-led National Tourism Strategy Tourism Scotland 2020 was launched in June 2012. The strategy was developed and led by the industry under the umbrella of the Scottish Tourism Alliance (STA), supported by the public sector. It is based on an in-depth understanding of market opportunities matched to Scotland’s capabilities. It provides a common agenda for the industry and supporting organisations, focusing on the national long-term tourism growth ambition.

VisitScotland is the national tourism organisation for Scotland with a primary role to maximise the economic benefit of tourism to Scotland. It wants to encourage this growth in a sustainable way that will bring benefit for the long term.

Meanwhile, Scottish Enterprise provides support to help Scotland’s growing tourism companies to develop new ideas and innovate, enabling them to grow by focusing on the development of new and improved visitor experiences around Scotland’s core strengths.

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