Over the next three years, the £150 million investment, will be used to transform Diageo’s Scotch whisky visitor experiences, in the biggest concerted programme ever seen in Scotland’s whisky tourism sector.
|Artists impression of the new Johnnie Walker visitor experience in Edinburgh|
The centre-piece of the investment will be a new state-of-the-art Johnnie Walker immersive visitor experience based in Edinburgh, bringing to life the story of the world’s most popular Scotch whisky and creating a unique welcome for millions of Scotch fans around the world.
Whisky from Diageo’s distilleries all over Scotland contribute to Johnnie Walker, but its Glenkinchie, Cardhu, Caol Ila and Clynelish distillery’s, will be linked directly to the Johnnie Walker venue in Edinburgh, representing the ‘four corners of Scotland’ and the regional flavour variations of the Lowlands, Speyside, Islands and Highlands, which are crucial to the art of whisky blending.
The company will also upgrade its existing network of 12 distillery visitor centres, to create a new generation of Scotch attractions where people can meet the craftsmen and craftswomen who make the world’s greatest distilled spirit and putting Scotland at the cutting edge of the global boom in food and drink tourism.
Diageo’s Lagavulin, Talisker, Glen Ord, Oban, Dalwhinnie, Blair Athol, Cragganmore and Royal Lochnagar distilleries, will also see investment to support the growth of single malt Scotch whisky. This is in addition to the £35 million already committed to re-open the ‘lost distilleries’ of Port Ellen and Brora, taking Diageo’s network of distilleries with specialist visitor experiences in Scotland to 14.
Commenting on the news, Ivan Menezes, Diageo’s Chief Executive, said: “Scotch is at the heart of Diageo, and this new investment reinforces our ongoing commitment to growing our Scotch whisky brands and supporting Scotland’s tourism industry. For decades to come our distilleries will play a big role in attracting more international visitors to Scotland. I am also delighted we will be able to bring our knowledge and expertise to help the next generation, through mentor programmes and skills training.”
The announcement comes as tourism in Scotland is experiencing record growth, with the global appeal of Scotch whisky playing a leading role in attracting visitors. It also comes as the Scottish Government and its agencies, Scottish Enterprise and VisitScotland, launch the Scotland is Now campaign, to sell Scotland to the world as a business and tourism destination.
Posted by Steve Rush