Scotland's number of distillery visits has risen to more than 2 million annually

The tourism boom in the whisky industry is unbroken


More than 2 million people visited the Scottish distilleries last year. This is the first time this magic limit has been broken, reports the Scotch Whisky Association SWA, and it means a 56% increase in visitor numbers since 2010; in May 2015, we had reported here at about 1.5 million visitors in 2014.

Not only the number of visitors is interesting for the SWA, but also how much money these visitors spend in the distilleries. In 2018, it was a sum of £ 68.3 million, 12.2% more than in the previous year and 154% more than in 2010. This is the result of the increased investment by the industry in premium visitor centers the SWA states.

The visitors come from over 20 countries, whereby Germany and the US are the front runners of visitor statistics. The amount of French, Spanish and Dutch whisky tourists is also growing as well as those from India and China. Of course, the strong whisky tourism also has a positive impact on tourism as a whole, as it is closely linked to increased demand for accommodation and more customers for the local restaurants and retailers.

“The growing number of visitors to distilleries reflects in part the growth in tourism in Scotland in general, and people coming to Scotland want to see our local crafts and sample our local food and drink,” says Karen Betts, CEO of the Scotch Whisky Association. “But it also reflects a growing curiosity about Scotch Whisky. Today’s consumers want to understand and experience how their favourite blends and malts are made, to meet the people who make them, and to see which part of Scotland’s beautiful landscape they call home.”

Source: Scotch Whisky Association