The continued rise of so called ‘staycations’ are helping boost visitor numbers in Scotland, with recently released official figures showing a 5 per cent rise over the 12 months to March.
There was further good news for the local economy, as the Office for National Statistics and the Great Britain Tourism Survey also showed that visitors had increased their cumulative spending by 15 per cent over the same period.
The main boost to the figures came from visitors from the rest of the UK. These were up by 6 per cent. A small increase from overseas tourists was also seen.
The Scottish Tourism Minister, Fergus Ewing, said the news was “encouraging”. However, the government also warned that, due to the relatively small sample size of the survey, caution was needed.
Ewing did go on to say that work will continue to promote Scotland throughout the world.
The news will be much welcomed by industry providers, as they look for areas to grow into. New opportunities are being created, while many are finding capital for through invoice finance such as factoring.
Looking at new strategies and putting efforts into operations is something the tourist industry is being urged to do by the Scottish Tourism Alliance. Its chairman, Stephen Leckie, underlined such sentiments. He said:
“In this climate we will need to work ever-harder both together and as individual businesses to support the tourism 20/20 strategy launched last month to make Scotland a quality destination of ‘first choice’.”
With hotel occupancy also on the rise, and room yield in Scotland above the UK average, it shows there is great potential for those businesses concentrating their efforts.