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Visit Scotland | Alba

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Overview

  • Experiencing different scenery and landscape, as well as our cities is key for Spanish visitors to Scotland.
  • In 2023, Spain was Scotland’s fifth largest international source market measured by number of visits. It was eighth by expenditure and eighth by number of nights.
  • Spanish visitors accounted for 5% of all overseas visits to Scotland and 5% of all overseas spend in Scotland in 2023.
  • 2023 saw a growth in the number of visits from 2022 and pre-pandemic levels. Expenditure was slightly lower compared to 2022 but surpassed the levels seen pre-pandemic.

Key statistics

201,000

total number of visits by Spanish visitors to Scotland in 2023

1.4 million

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

£108 million

total spend by Spanish visitors to Scotland in 2023

7.2

average nights per visit by Spanish visitors to Scotland in 2023

Source: IPS, 2023 (numbers have been rounded)

1. Executive summary 2023

In 2023, Spain was Scotland’s fifth largest international source market measured by number of visits. It was eighth by expenditure and eighth by number of nights. Spanish visitors accounted for 5% of all overseas visits to Scotland and 3% of all overseas spend in Scotland in 2023.

2023 saw a continued growth in the number of visits. Visits surpassed 2022 levels by 5% and pre pandemic levels by 56%. Spend in 2023 once again surpassed pre pandemic spending but was slightly lower compared to 2022.

The average spend per visit in 2023 was £539. The average spend per night was £75. The average length of stay was 7.2 nights.

Source: IPS, 2023

2. 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 Spain.

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

Southern European tourists are less interested in relaxing and more interested in cultural exploration.

Read the full VisitBritain MIDAS research

3. 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.

 

4. Additional research resources

Related links