The gateway to Scottish tourism

Edinburgh can help ‘disperse’ visitors across the country

Edinburgh accounted for 63% of overseas visitors’ overnight trips in 2017

THERE is an opportunity for Edinburgh to not only grow its own tourism revenues, but help increase tourism in other parts of Scotland.

A recent report from the Edinburgh Tourism Action Group set out a number of challenges facing tourism in the city in the coming years, including issues such as rising costs and difficulties in recruiting staff.

But one of the major issues facing the industry in the Scottish capital is the “dispersal” of tourists across the city itself and Scotland as a whole, according to the document.

Currently tourism in Edinburgh compared to the rest of Scotland is “unbalanced”, said the report, with Edinburgh accounting for 63% of overseas visitors’ overnight trips to Scotland in 2017 and 45% of their spending.

Scotland overall was said to have accounted for only 7% of trips to the UK from overseas visitors, and 8% of spend.

However, with capacity at Edinburgh Airport increasing and the number of visitors also expected to grow, the city “plays an important role as a gateway city to the rest of Scotland, particularly for international visitors”.

“There are opportunities to increase dispersal to the rest of the country.”

The report suggested this could be achieved “through raising awareness of the tourism offer in the rest of the country, or proactively helping visitors to plan trips outside of the city”.

Dispersal was also said to be important within Edinburgh itself, where tourists are often concentrated around the city centre and old town.

There was said to be a high demand for more hotels in the city, as well as concerns over how to continue to grow tourism without adversely affecting quality of life for the city’s residents.

And transport infrastructure and connectivity were highlighted as important issues for tourism in the city as well as Scotland overall.