Visits to Scotland increased by 12% in 2014

The number of international tourists visiting Scotland increased by 12% in 2014 from 2.4 million visitors to 2.7 million visitors, according to new figures.

This is according to VisitBritain, which found in 2014 international visits to Wales increased from 869,000 to 932,000 (7%) from 2013, England, excluding London, was up from 13.5 million to 14.2 million (5%) and London increased from 17.4 million to 18.8 million (4%).

Announcing the figures at its annual review launch yesterday, VisitBritain also reiterated its ambition for international visits to Britain to grow by more than 20% during the next five years to 42 million by 2020. This could see an additional £4.5bn in visitor spend.

It said the first seven months of 2015 are on track towards this target, breaking all previous records for inbound tourism numbers, with more than 20 million visits to Britain from January to July – a 3% increase compared to the same period last year.

The figures follows the announcement that international visitors have spent an extra £2.5bn in Britain during the last four years as a result of work by the national tourism agency VisitBritain.

This beats the target set for the tourism board by the UK government in 2011 by more than £500m. It means that every £1 invested in Visitbritain’s activities has resulted in an overseas visitor spending £21 in Britain.

Tourism Minister Tracey Crouch said: “VisitBritain has done fantastic work to promote UK tourism to overseas visitors. There are a multitude of  wonderful cultural and heritage sites on offer throughout the UK which I’m delighted that overseas visitors are enjoying.

“However, there is always more to do and this government is committed to supporting the tourism industry, and through the Five-Point-Plan for tourism, we will ensure these economic benefits are spread throughout the country.”  

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