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Visit Scotland | Alba


  • Speaking to people when they're on holiday in Scotland is a great way to gather valuable insight on our visitors’ experience. Our visitor surveys help us understand why visitors take a holiday or short break in Scotland and how they rate their experiences when here.
  • In 2023, we commissioned the Scotland Visitor Survey. Progressive Partnership Limited managed the survey on our behalf.
  • The survey involved short face-to-face interviews with visitors between October and March 2023. A more detailed online survey was emailed to visitors on their return home and ran from April to November 2023.
  • Progressive Partnership Limited used their specialised fieldworkers to interview visitors at over 130 sampling points across Scotland.
  • The scope of the survey was leisure overnight visitors only. It gathered insight on visitor attitudes and behaviours.
  • The survey didn't gather figures for the number of visitors to Scotland. This information can be found within the Great Britain Tourism Survey, the Great Britain Day Visits Survey, and the International Passenger Survey.
  • This page contains a summary of the highlights of the visitor experience. There is also signposting to more detailed topics, which we are launching over the forthcoming weeks.

Survey sample


sampling points across Scotland


face-to-face interviews conducted


online surveys completed

Source: Scotland Visitor Survey, 2023

1. Highlights of the visitor experience

In general, we find that visitors are very positive about their holiday or short break experiences, given the level of time, planning, and cost they have invested to personalise their trip.

  • 71% of visitors rated their experience in Scotland as a nine or a ten on a ten-point scale
  • 82% of visitors are likely to recommend Scotland (nine or ten out of ten)
  • 80% of visitors are quite or very likely to return to Scotland in the next five years

Nine or ten scores on a ten-point scale show genuine satisfaction and can foster loyalty. The challenge is to enhance every visitor experience to encourage more people to give the highest score.

Key statistics


of visitors stated that their break in 2023 was "the best holiday they had ever taken"


of visitors agreed that their trip in Scotland "enhanced their physical and emotional well being"


of visitors agreed that "Scotland is an open and welcoming destination"


of visitors agreed "finding out about Scottish Gaelic language / culture really enhanced my visit"

Source: Scotland Visitor Survey, 2023 (based on 9 or 10 scores on a 10 point scale)

Hear what are visitors are saying about Scotland

Scotland Visitor Survey - highlights of the visitor experience

Published April 2024

2. Additional visitor survey insights

There is a lot of information within the visitor survey on different aspects of the visitor experience.
We know that some users of this information will be looking for insight on specific topics, rather than the visitor experience as a whole. Therefore we will be releasing sections throughout 2024 by topic. 

You will be able to find further insight from the visitor survey which will be published in different sections of our website. Please use the links to go to these sections.

Find further insight within these sections

Insights on visitor profile and motivations to visit Scotland was published in April 2024. Insights on food and drink was published in May 2024.

3. Methodology

The survey collated views on a wide range of topics to understand visitor attitudes and behaviours. This supplemented annual statistical surveys about tourism in Scotland that are undertaken at a national level. The sample comprises overnight leisure visitors only.

The following types of visitor were not within the scope of this research:

  • visitors on a day trip from home
  • visitors on a business trip
  • cruise ship visitors

Face-to-face interviews were conducted at 135 sampling points across 23 regions in Scotland. A more detailed online survey was emailed to face-to-face respondents.

The 2023 survey was undertaken during the spring, summer, and autumn seasons. This is based on the need to gather visitor views in an efficient manner. More detailed information is available within the methodology and technical appendix.

Scotland Visitor Survey 2023 - background and methodology

Published April 2024

Scotland Visitor Survey 2023 - technical appendix

Published April 2024

Related links