Scotch Whisky is synonymous with Scotland. Its notoriety as an authentic, luxury product establishes our famous drink as a vital contributor to the Scottish economy. At a time when many traditional areas of manufacturing are on the decline in Scotland, the Scotch Whisky industry remains a steadfast force, with stable employment and investment.
Growth in overseas exports, which generated over £3 billion in 2008, and the rise in product value indicate more positive growth in the future.
With such a commanding reputation, Scotch Whisky is an ambassador for Scotland overseas. It gives us that point of distinction that will attract visitors and help us stand out against the competition. How can your business use the popularity of our most famous export to boost your business?
The big picture
Scotch Whisky is among the most productive industries in Scotland, second only to oil and gas.
The whisky industry supports nearly 35,000 jobs in Scotland and creates value of nearly £3.9 billion each year in profits and wages across the Scottish economy.
Of the £1.2 billion operating costs in 2008, £1 billion (81 per cent) was spent with Scottish suppliers for products like energy and cereals, so whisky has a wide community impact.
Things you need to know
Scotch Whisky production plays an important role in rural communities across Scotland. Distilleries are strongly aligned with wider tourism activities so contact nearby distilleries to see how your business can get involved.
Distilleries are one of Scotland’s most popular visitor attractions, with 1.2 million visits in 2008. Your visitors will want information about local distilleries, what they offer and opening times.
Opportunities for businesses
Scotch Whisky is our leading export. Visitors will be interested in taking a taste of whisky home with them – can you sell local malts or offer whisky gift packages?
Think about how you can work with distilleries in your area. Will they provide visitor centre discounts for your visitors, or can you offer tasting nights for guests?If you are serving food, try some whisky-based recipes or recommend a local malt to accompany a dinner course. Promote Scotch Whisky and local distilleries on your website and marketing materials – it will draw visitors in to your authentic Scottish experience.
If you remember one thing
Whisky is Scotland’s most famous product. Tourism businesses can use its popularity and fame as a way to attract visitors, whether that be through tastings, cooking or gifts for sale.
Source: The Economic Impact of Scotch Whisky Production in Scotland by Verso Economics for Scotch Whisky Association, May 2010