Scotch Whisky Association - Scotch Whisky Tourism Gives Massive Boost To Economy - 7th July, 2011
Scotch Whisky distilleries and visitor centres give a much-needed boost to the economy, the
job market and bring growing numbers of international tourists to Scotland, according to a
survey published today.
The Scotch Whisky and Tourism report commissioned by the Scotch Whisky Association
(SWA) from 4-consulting also identified the “distillery effect” which sees tourism and
cultural clusters forming in production areas. Scotch Whisky export growth is encouraging
new tourists from countries which are discovering a taste for Scotch to come to Scotland. Such visitors tend to spend more while visiting Scotland.
The report reveals that visitor centres and distilleries add £30.4 million in value to the
economy and provide 640 jobs – direct and indirect. The global impact of Scotch Whisky
tourism is clear as nine out of ten (86.1%) distillery visitors last year came from outside
Scotland, with nearly two thirds (62.3%) from outside the UK.
Campbell Evans, SWA Director of Government and Consumer Affairs, said: “Scotch Whisky
and tourism can be seen as the perfect blend and complement one another. Our survey shows
the scale of the economic impact of Scotch Whisky and how exports can help drive up
tourism. Spending by tourists, and the jobs created as a result, is injecting new money into the
To maximise the link between Scotch Whisky and tourism, the industry, hospitality sector and
public agencies created the Scotch Whisky Embassy network in 2003. Comprising 90 hotels,
golf courses, bars and restaurants which meet specific quality criteria, the network added £43.2m to the economy and created almost 1,400 jobs. Embassy network members received
just under 10.4m visits last year, with 43% coming from outside Scotland.
The wider economic impact of Scotch Whisky tourism is clear from analysing the source of
tourists and its relationship to Scotch Whisky exports. For example, China represents one of
the fastest growing tourist markets for Scotland and Whisky was the Scottish produce most
commonly cited among potential Chinese tourists.
On average, every £100 million of Scotch Whisky exports are associated with £20.6m of
direct tourism spending. With Scotch Whisky exports of more than £3bn, it is estimated that
the industry is associated with around £640m of direct tourism. After accounting for
multiplier effects, the overall impact it likely to exceed £1 billion each year.
Mr Evans said: “We’ve found countries which are the biggest export markets for Scotch
Whisky tend to spend more on tourism in Scotland. At the same time, in countries where the
number of tourists to Scotland increases we see a willingness to pay more for a bottle of
Scotch Whisky. Scotch Whisky is an important part of Scottish culture and identity and has a
wide role to play in attracting overseas tourism.”