With a record 1.7 million visitors, to more than 40 distillery visitor centres in 2016, Scotch whisky distilleries are playing an increasingly important and valuable role in the Scottish tourism sector and are on a par with other large tourist attractions like Edinburgh Castle and the National Museum of Scotland.
|The Scotch Whisky Association predicts a great year for whisky tourism|
Figures released recently by the Association of Scottish Visitor Attractions, highlighted a boost to whisky tourism in 2017, including Blair Athol Distillery Visitor Centre (+18%), Caol Ila Distillery Visitor Centre (+32%), Glen Ord Distillery Visitor Centre (+28%) Kingsbarns Distillery (+30%) and The Scotch Whisky Experience in Edinburgh (16%).
The increase has not only been driven by growing interest in Scotch whisky, which last year announced its highest ever export figures, but also due to investment in new visitor centres and increased innovation.
Commenting on the news, Karen Betts, Chief Executive at the Scotch Whisky Association, said: "It's fabulous to see Scottish distilleries attracting more and more visitors from the UK and all over the world. There has been a 25% increase in visits to Scotch Whisky distilleries since 2010 and we fully expect this trend to continue in the year ahead.”
She went onto say: "Scotch Whisky producers have invested in distillery visitor centres, their staff and shops to ensure their guests get the best possible experience. As well as benefitting our industry, the increasing number of visitors is great news for the wider Scottish economy, particularly in rural areas, with visitors to Scotch Whisky distilleries staying in local hotels, eating high quality meals in pubs and restaurants, and shopping for local products."
Recent new attractions for visitors to Scotland include the The Isle of Raasay Distillery and the Clydeside Distillery. Adding to the ever-growing list, the new Macallan distillery and visitor centre is due to open in June 2018.
Posted by Steve Rush