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Visit Scotland | Alba
Article published 23/02/2023

Measuring the visitor experience in Scotland in 2023

Next month we will start work on the Scotland Visitor Survey 2023, a significant and extensive piece of research which will run from March – October.

The Scotland Visitor Survey will provide valuable insight for everyone involved in tourism, events, and the wider visitor economy.

The survey will measure the visitor experience in Scotland in 2023. It will help us to understand why visitors take a holiday or a short break in Scotland and what their experience is while they are here.

The survey allows us to speak to holidaymakers on the ground in Scotland. It explores areas of the holiday experience such as:

  • motivation
  • sources of information
  • methods of planning and booking
  • their experience of the Scotland tourism product (accommodation, attractions, food and drink, activities, and experiences)
  • responsible tourism

Our research will look at the whole visitor journey from inspiration to planning, booking, and their overall satisfaction, advocacy, and likelihood to return. It will help us to build a better picture of what is particularly important to our visitors.

The Scotland Visitor Survey will give us a benchmark for where Scotland’s tourism offering is, post pandemic and help inform and drive our activities as a tourism industry going forward.   

Knowing what our visitors think and what they want is crucial in ensuring Scotland is kept front of mind in a competitive marketplace.

When will the Scotland Visitor Survey take place?

We’ve commissioned Progressive Partnership to conduct fieldwork from March to October 2023. An online survey is then sent to visitors when they return home.

Results will be available in 2024.

How is the survey conducted?

The survey will cover Scotland’s main tourism regions. This includes the islands groups of Orkney, Shetland and the Outer Hebrides and Scotland’s eight cities.

We’ll have external interviewers who will talk to visitors face to face when they’re here on their holiday / break in Scotland. Interviewers will be positioned at key attractions and tourism hot spots around Scotland (and on some high streets too).

They’ll ask the visitor to self-complete a short questionnaire (on a tablet).  The visitor will then be asked for their email address to send them a follow-up online survey to complete when they return home.

Background information

The visitor survey is typically undertaken every three – four years.  The last visitor survey was completed in 2016 with thousands of visitors taking part.

The survey planned for 2020 had to be cancelled due to the pandemic. We will run the Scotland Visitor Survey 2023 from March – October 2023. Results are due in 2024.

We regularly undertake Scotland-wide visitor surveys. The content of the survey is updated each time to reflect consumer and market changes at the current time. Each time, the survey explores different areas of the visitor experience. This includes:

  • motivations to visit ​
  • planning and booking​
  • accommodation choice​
  • travel to and around Scotland​
  • areas visited and nights​
  • satisfaction​
  • recommendation​
  • suggestions for improvements​

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