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Record number of tourists visit Scotland from overseas in 2023

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The previous record for international visits was in 2018 when Scotland welcomed 3.7million overseas tourists. 

VisitScotland Chief Executive Malcolm Roughead said: “These figures mark a turning point for tourism in Scotland, showing not only recovery but crucially growth in international visitors with number of visits and spend now above 2019 levels. Scotland is the only UK region to have reached this milestone.  

READ MORE: Scotland’s reputation as ‘must-visit’ destination growing, new research finds

“They are further evidence of the strength of Scotland’s offering and the clear desire for people across the world to experience this, with record demand from North America.  

“Our international visitors are hugely important to Scotland’s tourism industry, as well as the wider economy. They often stay longer and spend more, generating several billions of pounds annually, supporting a wide range of businesses, jobs and communities across the country. With many businesses still recovering from the challenges of the pandemic and current economic climate, this will be welcome news.  

“Early feedback from tourism businesses, travel trade and airline partners are this international demand is continuing into 2024 with increasing interest for visiting at different times of the year and exploring lesser-known locations.”

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