World Facts

Top Source Countries For Tourists To Scotland

In 2014, United States, Germany, and France were the three top source countries for tourists to Scotland.

Scotland is a top destination for travelers, making tourism a critical sector in the Scottish economy. The tourism industry employs about 200,000 people or about 7.7% of the workforce and contributes to about 5% to the GDP. In 2014, Scotland received a total of 2,700,000 foreign tourists with the majority coming from the US. The importance of Scotland as a tourist destination continues to rise with vigorous campaigns by VisitScotland- the national tourist agency. The agency has increased awareness concerning tourist activities that can be carried out in Scotland including golfing, fishing, and tracing of family genealogies.

Statistics For Overseas Tourists To Scotland

2014 was an important year for tourism in Scotland. With events such as the Homecoming, the MTV Europe Music Awards, the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow and the Ryder Cup, tourist visits to the country rose by 15%, the highest increase in a decade. According to VisitScotland, international tourists account for 17% of the total trips taken and contribute 38% of the total earnings from tourism. For this reason, international tourism contributes significantly to the Scottish economy. About 52% of the international tourists visit Scotland for holidays, 26% visit their friends and families in Scotland, 17% were on business trips, 2% were on study, and 3% visit for other reasons. Those on holidays had the largest spending at 1,007 million pounds while those on study spent the least (60 million pounds). The July - September period has the highest number of tourists visiting (40%) followed by April – June (29%) with January - March having the smallest number of tourist trips (12%).

Top Overseas Tourist Sources To Scotland

Scotland receives most of its international tourists from Europe. However, the US tops the list with about 418,000 tourists annually which represent 15% of the total tourist trips. The number was a 28% increase in tourists from the United States. Most of the tourists from the US visit to trace their ancestral roots with Scotland, for business and to enjoy the Scottish landscape. Germany follows closely as the second leading tourist source for Scotland. About 343,000 German tourists visited Scotland mainly for holidays, sightseeing and to enjoy the natural scenic landscape. France is the third tourist source for international tourists to Scotland. 190,000 French tourists visited Scotland in 2014. The French are renowned for their love for holidays and visit Scotland to experience the beautiful landscape and to learn the Scottish culture. Most of the French visit for extended holidays during summer months. Other important international sources for tourists to Scotland include Australia (158,000), Netherlands (149,000), Poland (138,000), Norway (125,000), Canada (122,000), Ireland (113,000) and Spain (101,000).

Top Destinations For International Tourists In Scotland

Scotland has evolved into one of the most developed tourist destinations in the world with a variety of attractions for tourists across all age groups and culture. The friendliness of the Scottish people contributes to a large number of international tourists. Scotland has an unspoiled environment with a temperate and oceanic climate that gives tourists a splendid environment for business and leisure. With a deep and outstanding history, Scotland is the ultimate destination for tourists interested in understanding the country and its cultures. The most visited areas in Scotland include the Edinburgh Castle, the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, the Holyrood Palace, Loch Lomond and the Stirling Castle. The growing nightlife within Scotland’s cities is a major attraction for younger international tourists.

Top Source Countries For Tourists To Scotland

RankCountryNumber Of Visitors To Scotland, 2014
1 United States418,000
2 Germany343,000
3 France190,000
4 Australia158,000
5 Netherlands149,000
6 Poland138,000
7 Norway125,000
8 Canada122,000
9 Ireland113,000
10 Spain101,000
11Total foreign2,700,000

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