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Overview

  • Spending time outdoors is one reason the Dutch love to visit Scotland and return time and time again.
  • In 2023, the Netherlands was Scotland’s fourth largest international source market measured by number of visits. It was sixth by expenditure and seventh by number of nights.
  • Dutch visitors accounted for 7% of all overseas visits to Scotland and 5% of all overseas spend in Scotland in 2023.
  • 2023 saw travellers from the Netherlands taking more trips to Scotland than ever before.

Key statistics

280,000

total number of visits by Dutch visitors to Scotland in 2023

1.6 million

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

£165 million

total spend by Dutch visitors to Scotland in 2023

5.7

average nights per visit by Dutch visitors to Scotland in 2023

Source: IPS, 2023 (numbers have been rounded)

1. Executive summary 2023

In 2023, the Netherlands was Scotland’s fourth largest international source market measured by number of visits. It was sixth by expenditure and seventh by number of nights. Dutch visitors accounted for 7% of all overseas visits to Scotland and 5% of all overseas spend in Scotland in 2023.

2023 saw travellers from the Netherlands taking more visits to Scotland than ever before. The total number of visits increased by 32% from 2022 and by 54% from pre-pandemic, reaching record levels. Expenditure and number of nights also reached record heights in 2023.

The average spend per visit in 2023 was £588. The average spend per night was £102. The average length of stay was 5.7 nights.

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 French 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 the Netherlands.

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

West European markets are more likely to demand a variety of interesting people, experiences and food and beverage options. These needs seem more distinctive than drivers in the other European regions.

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