A bright future for Scottish tourism

Overseas visitor spending to increase 40% by 2017, report says

• Horsing ahead: innovation in Scotland’s tourism sector will ensure growth.

FOREIGN visitor spend in Scotland is expected to increase by 40% over the next four years, according to Barclays.

Research commissioned for Barclays’ Retail and Hospitality & Leisure banking teams predicted that spend from overseas visitors will reach almost £2.3 billion in 2017.
Visitors from the USA are expected to remain the highest spenders in Scotland, increasing from £261m in 2013 to £300m in 2017.
Spending by French visitors is expected to rise by 60% to £182m, while the spend by tourists from Germany is predicted to increase from £147m to £168m over the same period.
After a “landmark” 2014, the study predicts steady growth in spending by foreign visitors to Scotland, outperforming the predicted UK average by 6%.
The study also found that in addition to 2014’s programme of global events, growth will be bolstered by loosening visa restrictions and “rapid growth” in spending among tourists from emerging economies.
It stated that although the country’s focus is currently on the major events of 2014, “Scotland’s tourism sector has a rich pipeline of innovation and development”. Projects such as Dundee’s waterfront regeneration and the opening of the V&A Museum of Design were highlighted as examples.
Ally Scott, managing director at Barclays Corporate Banking Scotland, said there is “no doubt” 2014 will boost Scottish tourism.
“That is not to say the industry can rest on its laurels – it’s key this year is used as a showcase of what Scotland can offer with a view to encouraging visitors back and that is why legacy has been a core theme,” said Scott.
Barclays’ findings come after a study by Glasgow 2014 revealed that 20% of Commonwealth Games spectators will be visiting Glasgow for the first time.
Nearly half of visitors are expected to stay up to four nights, with nearly 30% expected to stay five nights or more.