Record numbers visited Scotch whisky distilleries last year

The Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) has recorded an 11.4% increase on visits last from the previous year. Additionally, there was a 15.6% increase last year on spending on the previous year.

A record number of tourists visited Scotch whisky distilleries last year. The Association recorded1.9 million visits and spending of £60.9 million.

The highest number of visitors came from Germany and the USA, followed by those from India, China and Japan.

SWA chief executive Karen Betts told the BBC: “Scotch whisky distilleries have invested – and continue to invest – hugely in providing world-class visitor facilities at their sites all over Scotland, and they are collaborating in establishing new whisky trails and finding new ways of telling the story of Scotch to British and foreign visitors alike.”

“We will continue to work closely and collaboratively with tourist organisations, local councils and the Scottish government to ensure that Scotland’s tourists have a memorable time visiting our country and experiencing all it has to offer.”

Scotch whisky distilleries deliver a “world class experience”

Tourism Secretary Fiona Hyslop said: “These record figures show the value of the industry and how well-regarded Scotch whisky is to tourists from the UK and abroad.”

“As we are seeing innovative expansions to the visitor experience at distilleries around Scotland, I am confident we will see a further increase in visitors, which is great for our tourism sector and the wider economy.”

Malcolm Roughead, Chief Executive of VisitScotland, said: “We’re delighted that the popularity of Scotch Whisky distilleries is continuing to grow with our visitors, which reflects the hard work and investment by the industry in delivering a world-class experience.

In April, alcoholic drinks producer Diageo announced a Johnnie Walker immersive visitor experience is coming to Edinburgh. It is part of a £150m ($215m) investment to transform its Scotch whisky visitor experiences.

Diageo chose Edinburgh as the preferred location for the Johnnie Walker investment because of the capital’s particularly strong tourism growth, with the city already being home to some of the most popular visitor attractions in the UK.

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