February 26 (TravelAndy): The Association of Scottish Visitor Attractions (ASVA) has announced that visits to its member sites rose dramatically in 2017, the fourth year running that an increase in numbers has been recorded.
ASVA, which represents the interests of the key visitor attractions sector in Scotland, has over 450 members comprising some of Scotland’s most popular and iconic castles, galleries, museums, historic houses, heritage sites, wildlife parks, gardens and leisure attractions.
Analysis of statistics submitted by 232 of the organisation’s member sites for its annual ‘Visitor Trends Report’ confirms that over 30 million visits were made to those sites in Scotland in 2017, a rise of 9.7% over 2016 figures. The increase comes on top of a 6% rise in 2016, which itself followed a 3.4% rise in 2015, confirming once again that visitor attractions in Scotland are enjoying a period of sustained growth. Continue reading 2017: Great year for Scotland tourism
December 18 (TravelAndy): Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol fans will be able to follow their Kuch Kuch Hota Hai trail with a new guide produced by VisitScotland.
A trip planner, taking in all Scottish locations used in the 1998 flick, has been created for tour operators as part of the national tourism organisation’s 12-day travel trade mission to India and the United Arab Emirates.
Eilean Donan Castle; Blackrock Cottage, Glen Coe; Bass Rock and Tantallon Castle; Loch Tulla; Inchmahome Priory and Crossraguel Abbey all feature in the movie and take centre stage during the performance of the title song.
Set-jetting – where visitors travel to locations used in film and television – is a popular pastime for international visitors. According to research, 40% of visitors are influenced to travel to the UK after seeing footage in film or television. Continue reading Kuch Kuch Hota Hai in Scotland
November 19 (TravelAndy): MOO-ve over porridge and haggis….research highlighted by VisitScotland shows that Scottish beef appeals to consumers more than traditional porridge oats, haggis and Scottish salmon.
A topic paper published recently by the national tourism organisation – which pulls together recent food and drink research from a variety of sources to explore the role of food and drink in the visitor experience – shows that Scottish Beef tops a list of Scottish food for its appeal, with 60% of consumers surveyed preferring beef over Scottish salmon (51%), porridge oats (40%), haggis (27%) and berries (27%).
The research also reveals that almost 6 in 10 consumers (57%) most look forward to having tea at a local café, while 56% said that eating fish and chips outside particularly appealed to them during a holiday. Continue reading Scottish beef more popular than haggis, salmon
November 15 (TravelAndy): Millennials are set to be the driving force of growth in Chinese travel to Scotland, it has been revealed.
Chinese visitor numbers to the UK are expected to rise by almost half, from 260,000 to 384,000, over the next five years, VisitBritain predicts. Scotland currently accounts for almost a fifth (17%) of all Chinese visitors to the UK.
The rise in visitors from China to Scotland and the UK is expected to be driven by the young adult traveller. Research shows that the average age of Chinese visitors to the UK is younger than the average age of all inbound travellers. In 2016, half of Chinese visitors to the UK were aged between 25 and 44. Continue reading UK expects surge in Chinese tourists
October 28 (TravelAndy): Dundee has been named as one of 10 “hot destinations” in 2018 for “adventurous sophisticates, curious foodies and deep-pocketed beach bums”, by The Wall Street Journal.
Referred to as “Scotland’s coolest city”, Dundee has been ranked alongside Shanghai, Madagascar and the Faroe Islands as one of the places to travel to next year.
In naming the City of Discovery on its hot list, The Wall Street Journal highlights the opening of the new V&A Museum of Design, Dundee as part of its attraction. Continue reading Dundee in ‘hot destinations’ list
October 21 (TravelAndy): With more than half of people with access requirements avoiding going to new places if they can’t find information about accessibility, VisitEngland and VisitScotland have formed a unique partnership to help businesses tap into the accessible tourism market.
The national tourism organisations have launched a new, free to use website for the easy production and publication of Accessibility Guides. An Accessibility Guide is produced by tourism operators to provide potential visitors with important accessibility information about their venue and service.
The website provides tourism venues with an opportunity to increase business by providing information to potential visitors with access requirements in a user-friendly format. As well as being easier for businesses to complete, the new guide format standardises how information is presented making it easier for disabled customers, their friends and family to compare venues. Continue reading England & Scotland focus on accessible tourism
September 25 (TravelAndy): A hundred and twenty-five years ago the first collection of Sherlock Holmes stories was published, and the rest is history.
Saturday, 14 October marks the 125th anniversary of the publication of the first collection of Sherlock Holmes stories, The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. Scotland, as the birthplace of author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, is the ideal location for following in the famous detective’s footsteps, with dedicated tours as well as the chance to explore Scotland’s wider literary heritage.
In 2004 Scotland’s capital city Edinburgh was designated the first UNESCO City of Literature. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was born in Edinburgh in 1859, the beauty of the city provided the perfect inspiration for his writing. Scotland is also the birthplace of other literary giants such as Irvine Welsh, Robert Burns and Ian Rankin. Continue reading The Scotland of Sherlock Holmes
September (TravelAndy): If anything stirs the heart and soul, it’s a walk through a woodland in Scotland: as the leaves turn rich red, gold and warm orange, as the crisp air moves in, before settling in front of a crackling fire for a comforting hot chocolate or wee dram.
Visitors to Scotland this autumn can follow in the footsteps of poets William Wordsworth and Robert Burns who felt inspired by the rich tapestry of autumn: from enchanted Perthshire forests, to the fairy glens of the Highlands, to the coastal trail of Aberdeenshire, among many other places to visit.
Autumn in Scotland is a truly magical time. Continue reading Check out Scotland’s beautiful autumn colours
September 2 (TravelAndy): From the Iron Age to the Roman Empire, from Vikings to Jacobites, from epic battles to great escapes, September will be a month of historic proportions with a jam packed calendar of events celebrating Scotland’s 2017 Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology.
Borders Heritage Festival will kick-start the September celebrations with their opening weekend set to acknowledge the region’s spectacular heritage through light, music, storytelling, theatre and performance. Lighting the Borders (1-3 Sep) will use a variety of lighting at a range of historical sites including Neidpath Castle, Duns Law, Riddell Tower and Hume Castle, to form a chain of light across the landscape at dusk each evening.
The opening weekend will continue with Mary Queens of Scots Festival (2 & 3 Sep) set to take place in Kinross. The event will commemorate Mary’s life as Kinross poignantly marks the 450 year relationship with the Castle on Loch Leven Island where she was held captive and where she spent some of her most troubled years, and the end of her reign in 1567.The programme will include living history encampments, music, food and drink as well as children’s entertainment. Continue reading Join Scotland’s Year of History celebrations
August 30 (TravelAndy): Visitors to the Scottish International Air Show are in for an ‘udderly’ fantastic treat when they arrive at the Ayrshire event this weekend.
One of VisitScotland’s distinctive herd of Highland Cow vans – coo vans called Hamish, Heather, Morag and Archie – will be making a special appearance at Ayr Low Green on 2nd to 3rd September to help ensure the hundred thousand spectators to the air spectacle receive a warm welcome.
With its stunning location overlooking the picturesque Firth of Clyde and Isle of Arran, around 120,000 spectators are expected at this year’s Scottish International Air Show. The highlights of this year’s show include the RAF’s supersonic Typhoon fighter as well as a formation of WW2 American Mustangs with the Red Arrow providing the spectacular finale on Sunday afternoon. The Kelpie Maquettes will also be making an appearance at the event, which is now in its fourth year. Continue reading Going to the Scottish International Airshow?