National Visitor Surveys

Many visitors or tourists arrive in Scotland by car, so it is extremely difficult to obtain accurate information about all visitors, including how many there are, how long they stay, where they come from and how much they spend.

Scotland participates in UK-wide surveys: the UK Tourism Survey (UKTS) and the International Passenger Survey (IPS). The figures in these surveys are usually consistent and can be compared year-on-year, although a change in methodology in 2005 means that current figures cannot be compared to 2004 and before. Many areas also participate in additional monitoring through a programme called STEAM (Scottish Tourism Economic Activity Monitor), and there are on-going, countrywide surveys of accommodation occupancy levels and numbers of people visiting tourist attractions.

Additional research is also carried out into different sectors of tourism, such as leisure tourism and business tourism. This gives more information about these types of visitor. There is also research about different interests such as walking, wildlife, snowsports, etc and what visitors who come to Scotland for these interests are looking for. This is important information for tourism businesses and allows them to make sure what they offer is what these visitors are looking for.

Useful links:

Fast track to
Scottish Tourism Statistics
Cairngorms Visitor Survey