International visitors to Scotland spent £1bn in Q2

Edinburgh's Princes Street

International travellers to Scotland made 1.2 million visits to the country in the second quarter of 2023 and spent a record £1 billion, according to quarterly International Passenger Survey (IPS) tourism statistics from the UK’s Office of National Statistics (ONS).

The statistics show there were 1,163,000 inbound visits to Scotland in Q2 2023, surpassing Q2 of 2019 by 27% and Q2 of 2022 by 50%.

Inbound visitors spent £1,087 million in nominal terms in Q2 2023, up 53% from Q2 of 2019. When adjusting for inflation, in real terms visitor spend in Q2 of 2023 was up 36% vs Q2 of 2019, equivalent to £963 million in 2019 prices.

In total, 10.6 million nights were spent in Scotland by inbound visitors, up 46% on Q2 of 2019 but up 43% vs Q2 of 2022.

The average spend per visit was £935 in Q2 of 2023, up 20% in nominal terms vs Q2 of 2019 and up 6% in real terms.

The average length of stay in Q2 of 2023 was 9.1 nights, which was longer than in Q2 of 2019 (8.0 nights) but shorter than Q2 of 2022 (9.6 nights).

VisitScotland Chief Executive Malcolm Roughead said: “After a strong start to the year, it is hugely encouraging to see such clear recovery from our international markets, with visits and spend greatly surpassing both 2022 and pre-pandemic levels.

“Our overseas visitors often stay longer and spend more, helping to support jobs and communities in every region across the country.

“These new figures demonstrate an undeniable demand for Scotland’s world-renowned offering and an opportunity for those within the Scottish tourism industry to capitalise on this global interest.

“While we all continue to navigate the challenging economic landscape, our priority is to use our marketing, partnership work, funding and business support activities to grow appetite for Scotland from all visitors – near and far – and make Scotland a year-round, must-visit destination.”