Another Massively Successful Year for Scotland’s Tourism Industry

“Scotland has outperformed the rest of the UK for the seventh year in a row, demonstrating the appeal our history and heritage has on international and domestic visitors. We look forward to another successful year across the sector and welcoming many more visitors to our sites.”

Edinburgh CastleVisits to Scotland’s tourist sites saw an increase last year of 19.65%. The UK as a whole also increased but only 8.89%. The stats come from The Association of Leading Visitor Attractions (ALVA).

Edinburgh Castle – the most-visited paid attraction in Scotland – welcomed 2,111,578 visitors in 2018 at an increase of 2% on the previous year.

Other HES sites which performed well include Doune Castle with 142,091 visitors at an increase of 14% on the previous year – partly due to the ongoing ‘Outlander effect’, and Stirling and Urquhart Castles which had 605,241 and 518,195 visits in 2018 respectively.

Stephen Duncan, Director of Commercial and Tourism at HES, said:

“I am delighted that ALVA members across the UK have continued to see a rise in the numbers of visitors to their sites.”

 Malcolm Roughead, VisitScotland Chief Executive, said:

“Scotland’s many visitor attractions are a valuable part of the country’s outstanding tourism offering, showcasing our rich history and heritage and sharing Scotland’s story with visitors from far and wide.

 “We’re delighted that Scottish attractions are continuing to perform strongly in the UK which is a testament to the industry’s drive to create innovative and dynamic visitor experiences. With the opening of Moat Brae in Dumfries and the redevelopment of Aberdeen Art Gallery taking place this year, following in the wake of the hugely popular V&A Dundee, there is plenty of new and exciting attractions to look forward to in 2019.”


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