More people are working within Scotland’s tourism sector since the introduction of the National Tourism Strategy in 2012. The initiative, which aims to grow visitor spend by £1 billion by 2020, has also led to a wider variety of jobs across the sector.
Latest figures from 2017 show overall a rise of 24,500 jobs in the tourism industry over the past five years, increasing from 181,500 to 206,000. The City of Edinburgh has the highest rate of tourism employment, followed by Glasgow City, Highland and Aberdeen City.
In addition to the national growth, there has also been a substantial increase on a regional level with tourism employment rising by 14% in the South of Scotland and by 10% in Ayrshire.
Tourism also remains one of the most important employment sectors for Scotland’s rural communities. For example, in Argyll & Bute, there are 69 tourism jobs for every 1,000 people working in the local authority area – the highest number per head of population in the country. This is closely followed by Highland (68), City of Edinburgh (64), Perth & Kinross (60) and Orkney (57).
In further positive news for the economy, there has also been a broadening of jobs across different sectors, showing less reliability on a few key sectors or companies. Main growth sectors include restaurants & mobile food service activities (up 22%), botanical and zoological gardens and nature reserve activities (up 25%) and tour operator activities (up 43%).
It’s fantastic to see the growth of tourism across Scotland with more people working in the industry and strong increases in a number of sectors like nature reserve activities and tour operator activities.
The ongoing success of tourism reflects the talent, dedication and creativity of people working in the sector. The Scottish Government will do all it can to support this success so Scotland can continue to offer an unrivalled and memorable visitor experience for people who choose our country as their holiday destination.