‘Best year ever’ for Scotch Whisky tourism

By Rachel Arthur contact

- Last updated on GMT

'Scotch has a wonderful story: part traditional, part modern, and set among Scotland's breathtaking landscapes'. Pic:getty/lukasek
'Scotch has a wonderful story: part traditional, part modern, and set among Scotland's breathtaking landscapes'. Pic:getty/lukasek
Scotch Whisky distilleries enjoyed 1.9 million visits from tourists from the UK and around the world in 2017, according to figures from the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA).

Spending at visitor centres was also up by 15.6% to £60.9m ($80m), according to the organisation’s annual survey.

The highest number of international visitors came from Germany and the USA, followed by those from India, China and Japan.

'These are exciting times'​ 

The increase in visits to 1.9 million is an 11.4% rise year-on-year, and represents 45% growth in popularity since 2010. On average tourists spend £32 ($42) during each trip to a visitor centre, up almost 4% year on year and by £11 ($15) per visit in 2010.

Karen Betts, chief executive, SWA, said: "These are exciting times. Scotch Whisky distilleries have invested - and continue to invest - hugely in providing world-class visitor facilities at their sites all over Scotland, and they are collaborating in establishing new whisky trails and finding new ways of telling the story of Scotch to British and foreign visitors alike.

"And it's a wonderful story: part traditional, part modern and set among Scotland's communities and in its breathtaking landscapes.”

The SWA says it will continue to work with tourist organisations, local council and the Scottish Government to create memorable visits for tourists.

“Over the past 12 months distilleries have continued to recognise the value of Scotch Whisky tourism, making significant investments to improve the visitor experience - from introducing interactive experiences to extending opening hours, upgrading infrastructure to meet demand and improving the knowledge of tour guides,”​ said Betts. 

Related topics: Markets, Beer, Wine, Spirits, Cider, Craft

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