The number of people visiting tourist attractions in the country soared by four million in the past twelve months, with many sites seeing huge rises.
One of the main reasons for the increase was due to a wholesale upgrading of attractions. The Riverside Museum opening in Glasgow has proved a great success in its first year, whilst the re-launched National Museum in Edinburgh became the most popular attraction.
In 2011, close to 1.5 million people went through the doors. That is an increase of over 140% compared to 2010’s figures.
Other significant rises were seen at Stirling Castle, posting an increase of nearly 15% following the refurbishment of the Palace Apartments. Edinburgh’s St. Giles’ Cathedral was another big winner, welcoming 20% more visitors in the year.
The mainstay of the tourist industry in Scotland, Edinburgh Castle was the most popular paid-for attraction once again, with 1.3 million going through the gates.
Speaking about the news, director of the Moffat Centre for Travel and Tourism Business Development, Prof John Lennon, said:
“Partly as a result of the new and upgraded attractions, the Scottish tourism industry continues to develop and we see positive trends.”
However, he did warn that smaller attractions still struggled, citing the problems with funding as the key reason holding them back.
Many are finding alternative funding though, with Scottish invoice factoring helping businesses take advantage of the trend for ‘staycations’ as a result of the economic situation.
If more can secure such streams, 2012 could be set to be even more successful, particularly if foreign visitors coming to the UK for the Olympics and Jubilee explore further afield than London alone.