Scotland’s overseas and domestic tourism visitors increased by 7 percent in the year to the end of June 2015, latest figures published Thursday showed.
With overseas and domestics visitors combined, over 15.5 million tourists visited Scotland last year and spent over 5 billion pounds (about 7.73 billion U.S. dollars), an increase of 10 percent from the previous 12 months, according to figures from Britain’s Office of National Statistics and VisitScotland.
Data showed an increase of visitor numbers from Europe of 6 percent and an increase in expenditure of 7 percent.
Tourists coming from North America recorded an increase in expenditure of 16 percent at 488 million pounds in the 12 months.
There was also an 8 percent increase in domestic visitors to Scotland.
Scottish Tourism Minister Fergus Ewing hailed the figures as “hugely encouraging for the Scottish tourism industry,” saying: “The rise in both visitors and expenditure show that Scotland is a destination that offers quality experiences and visitors are prepared to spend their money in our hotels, tourism attractions and restaurants.”
Malcolm Roughead, chief executive of VisitScotland, called for continued investment and work to attract visitors to the Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design in 2016 and beyond. (1 pound = 1.55 U.S. dollars)