Tourism is clearly good for the Scottish economy in more ways than you need me to describe. Two announcements from the Scottish Business News Network make for pleasant reading.
We had a 6% surge, 155 000 more visitors, adding £155 million to the income of Scottish businesses in 2016. Within that, the numbers coming from North America soared by 28%! The increased spend increase was even more than the 6% to 9% more than in 2015.
The overall UK figures were a measly 4% increase in visitors and 2% increase in income. Hah! Not nice I know. Maybe I should join the Tories? Tourism Secretary Fiona Hyslop said:
‘These figures underline Scotland’s appeal as a world-class tourism destination and are a credit to our tourism industry’s hard work to attract and welcome more than 2.7 million overseas visitors last year. We have seen a 28 per cent increase in the number of visits from North America and welcomed more than 1.6 million visitors from across Europe, highlighting the strength of our connections with the US and our neighbours on the continent. Our overseas visitors spent £1.85 billion in 2016, a 9% increase on the previous year and a welcome boost for our tourism and hospitality sectors and wider economy.’
Part of this North American surge has been put down to their feeling more secure here than in places where there have been recent terrorist attacks. Perhaps we can take a little credit for this? See:
‘In addition, Hussain and Miller (2004) argue that Muslims in Scotland are more likely to identify themselves as Scottish than Muslims in England are to identify as English (Hussain and Miller 2004, 2006). In their study, comparing experiences of Islamophobia and Anglophobia in Scotland, Hussain and Miller established that the Muslims interviewed found it very easy to identify with Scotland. They suggest this could be explained partly because their religious identity is seen as cultural and not territorial. This finding is supported by research conducted by Masud (2005) into the experiences of Muslims across Britain after the London bombings in 2005. In this research conducted across Scotland 27“it was widely acknowledged and appreciated that compared with other parts of the country, especially England, Scotland was a tolerant place” (Masud 2005).’