Best year ever for Scotch whisky tourism!

Photo by Keith Hunter

Scotch Whisky Association?s, SWA, annual survey saw record numbers of visitors to Scotch whisky distilleries in 2017. 1.9 million visits were made during 2017, up by 11.4% compared to 2016, and spending at visitor centres was up by 15.6% to ?60.9 millions.

The report also shows the highest number of visitors came from Germany and the USA, followed by India, China, and Japan.

According to SWA, there are 122 operating malt distilleries, and 66 Scotch whisky visitor centres currently in Scotland. On an average, ?32 was spent during each trip to a Scotch whisky visitors centre (compared to ?11 in 2010).

Karen Betts, Scotch Whisky Association chief executive, said: ?Whisky tourism is on the up, but tourists are often surprised that Scotch is more expensive here in the UK than it is in their home countries. They are surprised to know that ?3 in every ?4 spent on a bottle of Scotch in the UK goes to the government in tax. If tax rises further in the Autumn Budget, this will put at risk further industry investment in future growth.”