Official figures have revealed that the number of tourists visiting Scotland last summer slumped, with the weather and major sporting events elsewhere taking their toll.
The figures have been released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) in its International Passenger Survey.
The figures show a decrease of 12 per cent in the number tourists visiting Scotland between July and September of 2012 than at the same time in 2011. Spending was also down by £50m in the period.
However, the figures also show a two per cent increase in tourist numbers in the 12 months to September, amounting to a 12 per cent expenditure increase.
Conversely, VisitScotland figures show a fall in domestic tourism of three per cent in the year, with spending dropping two per cent. The body’s chairman, Mike Cantlay, said:
“Times have been undeniably tough for businesses over the summer, particularly in certain sectors like outdoor attractions and activities.”
Cantlay mourned such a turn of events, claiming that the sector was set up for a great summer, following a good early season. Firms in the sector, many seeking invoice factoring facilities to survive and thrive, will hope that successful marketing of Scotland in foreign markets will address this.
The success of Disney-Pixar’s film Brave, which was partly funded by VisitScotland, is leading the charge. The film is set in Scotland.
First minister, Alex Salmond, said:
“Brave has been a terrific showcase for Scotland and has given this country the unprecedented opportunity to be promoted in some 72 countries.”
The film was nominated for both a Bafta and an Oscar award.