Distillery Visitor Numbers on the Rise

let’s begin

Whisky is a big attraction for many people coming to visit Scotland.

A recent report released by the Scotch Whisky Association put numbers at an all time high of 1.5 million visitors per year.

This is an increase of 6% over the last year and an incredible increase of 15% since 2010.

Distilleries have now become some of the UK’s biggest tourist attractions, rivalling places such as Edinburgh Castle, Stonehenge and London Zoo.

This is a great accolade for the Whisky business in Scotland and shows just how popular and well known the drink is worldwide.

Visitors are flocking to find out more about the origins of Scotch, a drink that has dominated the Whisky market globally for decades.

And with them they are bringing the big bucks as well!

Not only has the number of visitors increased, but also the amount being spent has skyrocketed.

The amount of money being spent in distilleries now sits at a tidy £50 million, more than double that of 2010.

Scotch is clearly a huge pull for the number of tourists visiting the country every year.  This is a reflection of just how important the drink is to the Scottish economy.

Scotch accounts for around a quarter of all exports from the UK every year, so it should be no surprise really that there are plenty of people who want to come a learn a bit more about it.

The countries represented most frequently in the numbers were Scotland, the rest of the UK, the USA, France and Germany.

Again, like the increase in visitors reflects the worldwide appreciation of Scotch these countries reflect Scotches biggest importers.

The USA are the biggest importers by value.  This number has been rising year on year, with 2014 seeing an increase of 8% in Scotch imports to the US.

Next in line is France, the second biggest importer of Scotch by value.

But they also import the largest amount of Scotch by volume and amazingly, buy more Scotch than any other drink.  That includes French made Cognac and Brandy.

The French are also making moves towards higher end products, with a rise in the import of premium labels.

Germany is only fifth largest in the importers and at the start of this year that number was decreasing.  However, if these new statistics are anything to go by then Scotch could see a resurgence here.

Scotch is a drink that is both enjoyed and re-interpreted all across the globe.  Although it is being challenged in the awards sector, with countries like Japan and Taiwan stealing the show year on year, it is still considered the pinnacle of Whisky.

The amount of visitors coming to see distilleries in Scotland speaks for itself.  While people have new Whiskies to enjoy and more exotic brands to discover, Scotch will forever remain the inspiration for them all.

And that’s what keeps drawing them in, the chance to see where it all began and appreciate the long tradition that has gone before every Whisky brand available today.

Tags: DistilleryDistillery Visitor NumbersriseScotch Whisky AssociationUSA


My name is Greg, and I’m a brand strategy consultant, writer, speaker, host and judge specialising in premium spirits. My mission is to experience, share and inspire with everything great about whisky, whiskey, gin, beer and fine dining through my writing, my brand building and my whisky tastings.

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