Ninety seven per cent of visitors to Scotland said they were satisfied with their holiday and 96 per cent would recommend the destination, according to one of the most extensive surveys of visitors to Scotland.
The friendly welcome of Scottish people and the scenery were listed as the highlights of a holiday in Scotland in the new research commissioned by national tourism organisation VisitScotland. Visitors from England and Wales, Scotland, Germany, France, Italy and Canada took part in the survey between July and September last year.
According to the survey many visitors to Scotland are likely to return. Ninety five per cent of visitors from England and Wales said they were likely to book another Scottish holiday, along with 80 per cent of the international visitors surveyed.
Scotland is also performing well for customer service, with 90 per cent of those surveyed stating that their expectations of customer service were either met or exceeded.
VisitScotland’s Chief Executive, Philip Riddle said: “This research is a great endorsement of Scotland’s tourism industry. However, we must continue to develop and improve, particularly as we are competing with hundreds of destinations around the world for visitors. Understanding our visitors is crucial as we develop the tourism industry in Scotland and will help us to achieve our shared tourism industry ambition of creating a £6 billion industry by 2015.
“Visitors must be at the heart of everything we do, and this detailed research gives us an invaluable insight into what our customers are looking for. This will be useful to us in developing future marketing campaigns, but will also be crucial for tourism businesses in helping them to develop their own businesses.”
Other highlights from the research showed:
Respondents to the survey visited an average of three different regions on their Scottish holiday, with Edinburgh, the Highlands & Skye, Loch Lomond and Glasgow proving to be the most popular destinations. International visitors were particularly active getting to an average of over four regions.
Reasons for choosing Scotland
The main reasons for choosing Scotland as a holiday destination are the scenery, nature and wildlife and the attitudes of local people.
According to the survey international visitors are more likely to opt for bed and breakfast or guest house accommodation, with UK visitors preferring hotels. Self catering facilities were rated the highest for quality and value for money.
Eating out and Scottish food
One third of all visitors stated they were very interested in the local cuisine of their holiday destination. Pubs and bars were the most popular places to eat, with over two-thirds of those surveyed using them. Cafes, tea shops and good quality and budget restaurants were popular with over half of all visitors. Nine out of ten visitors felt that the quality of Scottish food met or exceeded their expectations.
Things to see and do
Visitors from the UK who participated in the survey favoured short walks, touring, exploring the Scottish scenery and relaxing. International visitors liked these activities as well as longer walks, visiting castles, historic houses, palaces and museums and visiting local pubs and restaurants to interact with the local people.
Value for money
Four out of ten international visitors surveyed perceived Scotland as providing poor value for money. This is largely driven by the current economic climate and exchange rates. The figure is much less for UK visitors, with 13 per cent feeling that Scotland offered poor value.