Scotch Whisky is the product most associated with Scotland and distilleries have become a must-visit destination for 1.2 million visitors each year. Such an iconic product offers the potential to grow tourism revenues.
ScotlandWhisky is a project that aims to explore how the Tourism and Scotch Whisky industries can work together to promote Whisky Tourism.
It has developed the ‘Embassy’ network – a range of hotels, golf courses, bars and restaurants that have met specific quality criteria, including staff trained at the Scotch Whisky Training School.
Such initiatives prove that tourism businesses can attract more visitors if they work together with local distilleries to create new, exciting and ‘uniquely Scottish’ whisky experiences.
The big picture
Scotch Whisky is the leading drink in the spirits and wines sector, and Scotland is the leading and most recognised producer – that makes our national drink one of our most valuable tourism assets.
Around eight per cent of visitors to Scotland tour a distillery, and distillery visitor centres have the highest spend per head of all Scottish visitor attractions.
There are 73 Scotch Whisky Embassy hotels across Scotland. Where Embassies are using their whisky training, they have reported a 10 per cent increase in sales of Scotch Whisky.
Increasing whisky demand draws in customers that will also spend in other areas.
What visitors want
Visitors want an authentic experience. Consider sending staff to the Scotch Whisky Training School so they know what they are talking about when serving your customers. The delighted visitors will come again or pass recommendations to friends and family.
Education-based travel has been identified as one of the areas for growth in Scottish tourism. Link up with distilleries to offer ‘connoisseur’ tour packages and prepare a Scotch Whisky ‘menu’ for customers with tasting descriptions.
Opportunities for businesses
Contact ScotlandWhisky about the possibility of becoming a Scotch Whisky Embassy.
Drive interest by offering sampling events. Group pre-dinner tasting packages can bring in larger crowds.
Know your local distillery and display their promotional leaflets so you can recommend to visitors that they should go there.
Consider setting up a ‘malt whisky society’ with regular customers and offer additional benefits such as formal whisky dinners and tastings.
If you remember one thing
Collaboration between distilleries, hotels, restaurants, golf courses and other attractions can offer visitors an all-inclusive tourism experience. Although whisky is the primary hook, visitors can enjoy the wide range of experiences in the area.
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