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Visit Scotland | Alba

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Overview

  • With strong ancestral ties between the two countries, Scotland is high up on the wish list for many Australian travellers.
  • In 2023, Australia was Scotland’s seventh largest international source market measured by number of visits. It was fourth by expenditure and third by number of nights.
  • Australian visitors accounted for 5% of all overseas visits to Scotland and 6% of all overseas spend in Scotland in 2023.
  • 2023 saw a strong recovery by the Australian market, with visits, nights, and spend surpassing both 2022 and pre-pandemic levels.

Key statistics

189,000

total number of visits by Australian visitors to Scotland in 2023

2.6 million

total number of nights spent in Scotland by Australian visitors in Scotland in 2023

£221 million

total spend by Australian visitors to Scotland in 2023

13.5

average nights per visit by Australian visitors to Scotland in 2023

Source: IPS, 2023 (numbers have been rounded)

1. Executive summary 2023

In 2023, Australia was Scotland’s seventh largest international source market measured by number of visits. It was fourth by expenditure and third by number of nights.

That year, Australian visitors accounted for 5% of all overseas visits to Scotland and 6% of all overseas spend in Scotland.

In 2023, the Australian market experienced a strong comeback. The number of visits surpassed 2022 levels by 123% and pre-pandemic levels by 27%. The number of nights and tourist spending also surged, surpassing both 2022 and pre-pandemic levels.

Source: IPS, 2023

2. Scotland Visitor Survey 2023

In 2023, we commissioned the Scotland Visitor Survey to gather insight on visitor attitudes and behaviours. The scope of the survey was leisure overnight visitors only.

The survey explored the profile of the visitors who took part in the research, including:

  • their motivations for visiting
  • their experiences
  • how they have rated aspects of their trip

Information on Australian visitors will be updated in 2024. Information is available on the background, methodology, and key highlights from the Scotland Visitor Survey 2023.

Browse our Scotland Visitor Survey 2023 page.

3. VisitBritain MIDAS research 2022

In 2022, our partner, VisitBritain undertook comprehensive research with international leisure travellers. They spoke to global tourists from many markets, including Australia.

Whilst the research focuses on perceptions and experiences of Britain, there are insights which are useful for the Scottish tourism industry.

Long-haul markets see Britain more consistently as offering heritage and history, the ability to roam and explore a broad mix of "must-do" experiences (both old & new).

Read the full VisitBritain MIDAS research

4. Official statistics and partners

The International Passenger Survey is a continuous survey carried out by the Office for National Statistics. It covers all major air, sea and tunnel ports.

The survey provides information on the numbers and types of visits made by people travelling to and from the UK. Anonymous face to face interviews are undertaken with a sample of passengers entering and leaving the UK.

Find out more on the survey methodology on ons.gov.uk.

Read further ONS publications on ons.gov.uk.

Read how the COVID-19 pandemic impacted on the IPS data collection on visitbritain.org.

 

5. Additional research resources

Related links