Scotland sees domestic tourism boom

Figures from VisitBritain’s Great British Tourism Survey (GBTS) show a steady rise in domestic tourism, with Scotland seeing the highest growth rates.

The GBTS figures for the first four months of 2016 show that the total number of trips has remained steady compared to the same period in 2015 – but the number of holiday trips taken has increased by 8% to more than 11 million.

Holiday spending grew by 22% to £2.8 billion, while the number of trips taken for business or visiting friends and relatives (VFR) declined slightly.

The GBTS is a national consumer survey measuring the volume and value of domestic overnight tourism trips taken by UK residents.

The growth of domestic tourism has not been spread evenly throughout the UK however.

The Q1 Regional Summary reveals that Scotland has seen the biggest growth in several key measures, including bednights up 10% year-on-year to more than seven million, and total expenditure up almost 5% to £623 million.

Wales, on the other hand, experienced a decrease in several measures – apart from average spend per night – and England experienced modest increases for the first quarter.

• Senior figures in the tourism industry say north Wales needs to improve the basic services it offers visitors, the BBC has reported.

They claimed dirty streets, poor amenities and local authority spending cuts could affect deter tourists, but local councils said they are doing their best with limited budgets.

Jim Jones, managing director of north Wales Tourism, told the BBC: “Obviously there’s a lot of pressure on public sector budgets at this time. But in the main tourist hotspots, it’s still vital that we have good facilities in place.

“Tourist information centres and public toilets are still fundamental basics to the tourism infrastructure.”

Picture shows Camusdarach Beach, Scotland.