Record seven Scottish tourist attractions top magic million

29 February 2016

Seven Scottish tourist attractions achieved more than one million visitors in 2015, according to new research conducted by Glasgow Caledonian University’s (GCU) Moffat Centre for Travel and Tourism Business Development.

Edinburgh Castle remains Scotland’s most popular attraction overall, with over 1,568,500 visitors, whilst the best of the rest were all free attractions.

Visits to the top ten attractions increased by 5% in 2015.

This followed a strong 2014 for Scotland’s attractions, the result of key events such as the Commonwealth Games, the Ryder Cup, and Homecoming 2014.

Professor John Lennon, Director of the Moffat Centre for Travel and Tourism Business Development at GCU, said: “2014 was a great year and put Scotland on the map so that they made plans to come in 2015. The profile of Scotland as a destination was high in the global media.

“Scotland is clearly punching above its weight in visitor attraction performance. It is a testament to the range and appeal of Scotland’s paid and unpaid offer that we continue to attract international and domestic tourists as well as local visitors to our visitor attractions.”

Edinburgh’s museum and heritage offer continues to attract record numbers as the city benefits from international and domestic visitation.

Glasgow is also continuing to break records with Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum and the Riverside Museum maintaining over a million visitors. Loch Lomond Shores is also now an established member of the one million-club with an ever-growing range of offers that extends well beyond retail.

The Helix and the Falkirk Wheel provide a combined appeal to 1.3 million visitors bringing Scottish Canals and Falkirk tangible returns from visitation.

In the heritage stakes Edinburgh Castle retains its crown as Scotland’s most visited attraction. Stirling Castle continues to benefit from its Royal apartments and events programme and Urquhart provides the third Historic Environment Scotland offer in the top 10 most visited paid admission attractions.

The top ten visitor attraction table forms the initial findings of the Moffat Centre Visitor Attraction Monitor, the unrivalled annual analysis of Scottish attraction performance since 1999. The full report of over 680 tourist sites will be completed in March.