Scotland’s surging tourism is sustaining many of Scotland’s rural communities


As tourism surges in Scotland, it is playing an increasingly important role in sustaining rural communities according to new research from Visit Scotland. We’ve seen an 18% growth in UK tourism spending while in Scotland it increased by 27% on last year.

Tourism employment is increasingly important with Argyll & Bute at 18%, twice the national average of 9%. Other areas particularly relying on tourism employment are:

Highlands (14%),

South Ayrshire (13%)

Orkney (12%). 

According to the report, the top ten most visited regions in Scotland by overnight visitors are:

  1. Edinburgh (2,276,000 trips)
  2. Highlands (1,777,000 trips)
  3. Glasgow City (1,682,000 trips)
  4. Argyll and Bute (891,000 trips)
  5. Perth and Kinross (721,000 trips)
  6. Dumfries and Galloway (702,000 trips)
  7. Aberdeen City (661,000 trips)
  8. Fife (528,000 trips)
  9. Stirling (432,000 trips)
  10. South Ayrshire (373,000 trips)

I’ve already discussed possible reasons for this growth here:

North Americans lead surge in Scottish tourism because they feel safer here

‘Outlander links see visitors to historic sites soaring’

Visitors to Scotland’s historic sites surge by 470 000 to reach more than 4.5 million, breaking all records, in only 11 months!


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