The Commonwealth Games increased visitor numbers at attractions all over the country by 10% last year.
The Games’ host city attractions, such as Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, enjoyed a significant increase of visitors, and the Riverside Museum and People’s Palace also reported a boost in numbers according to the Association of Leading Visitor Attractions (ALVA).
However, despite the obvious tourism boost to Glasgow, the country’s capital also benefited from the Games, with the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh taking the title of most visited museum outside London over the summer months. It was the most popular free attraction in Scotland, reporting visitor numbers of 1.6 million.
Edinburgh Castle came out on top as the most visited paid-for attraction, hosting 1.5 million tourists – a 4% increase from 2013.
Scotland’s outdoor attractions, such as Royal Botanic Gardens in Edinburgh, Urquhart Castle and Stirling Castle, also received a tourism boost during the Games thanks to the good weather.
Bernard Donoghue, Director of ALVA, said:
“Scotland’s impressive visitor figures – which outperform the rest of the UK – are proof of the need for, and of the successful investment strategy by, the Scottish Government, local government and the Heritage Lottery Fund in investing in tourism, which is Scotland’s most important industry”.
In total, research showed that the Commonwealth Games brought £282million worth of tourism to the host city, with hotel occupancy reaching a record high at 95% due to the 690,000 people who travelled to Glasgow to attend the Games.
Culture Secretary, Fiona Hyslop, expressed her excitement at the ALVA figures and said:
“These figures build on the success of Homecoming 2014, the Commonwealth Games and the Ryder Cup and underline Scotland’s global reputation as a welcoming, first class destination for visitors from at home and around the world.
“I am confident we can build on the momentum created in 2014 and continue to deliver strong, high quality experiences that will entice visitors back to our cultural attractions time and time again”.
For top tips on how to make the most of events in your area check out Tourism Intelligence Scotland’s Events, Festivals and Cultural Tourism Guide to help unlock your business’s potential and maximise your visitor experience.