According to new research, “new and upgraded attractions helped draw four million more visitors to Scotland’s main tourist sites last year.”
Following a refurbishment, the national museum was the busiest attraction, rising by 141 per cent from the previous year to almost 1.5 million visitors.
The findings were based on research conducted on 649 tourists sites across Scotland, by Glasgow Caledonian University’s Moffat Centre.
Riverside Museum in Glasgow reportedly attracted more than one million visitors since opening in June 2011, while St Giles’ Cathedral in Edinburgh achieved a 20 per cent rise to more than 851,000. The most popular paid tourist attraction was Edinburgh Castle, with more than 1.3 million visitors.
Prof John Lennon, director of the Moffat Centre for Travel and Tourism Business Development said: “Partly as a result of the new and upgraded attractions, the Scottish tourism industry continues to develop and we see positive trends.
“In previous years we’ve had shocks such as the volcanic ash cloud and security issues which have negatively impacted on the figures. No doubt the recession and fuel costs have also taken their toll, particularly on the smaller and more remote attractions without a secure source of funding.”
VisitScotland chief executive Malcolm Roughead said: “These are extremely encouraging figures, helped in no small part by the continuing trend for Scots holidaying at home and the ‘daycation’ market, which last year contributed £6.2 billion to the Scottish economy.”