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Visit Scotland | Alba


  • Statistics on the volume and value of visitors to individual regions of Scotland are collated from several national surveys, where sample sizes are at a robust level.
  • For the Outer Hebrides, information has been gathered to estimate the volume and value of visitors via the 2017 Islands Visitor Survey. Appropriate data collection going forward is currently under review.

1. Key statistics


visits to the Outer Hebrides

£65 million

total spend


first time leisure visitors

Figures taken from Outer Hebrides Islands Visitor Survey 2017

2. Outer Hebrides Visitor Survey 2017

Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, in partnership with VisitScotland, commissioned Progressive to conduct a visitor survey on the Outer Hebrides. The main aim of the survey was to provide robust and up-to-date estimates of visitor volume and value, as well as information on experiences, motivations, behaviours and perceptions.

The research was carried out between January and December 2017 by Progressive Partnership Limited. 3,829 calibration interviews were conducted and 684 completed online surveys received.

Key highlights include:

  • Profile of visitors to the Outer Hebrides

    42% were first time visitors to the Outer Hebrides, 58% were repeat visitors

    55% were from Scotland, 28% from the rest of the UK

    11% were from Europe, 4% from North America and 2% from other overseas

  • Purpose of visit

    68% were visiting for a leisure or holiday trip

    12% were visiting friends or relatives

    19% were on a business trip

  • Motivations to visit

    The scenery and landscape were the main factors influencing leisure visitors to visit the Outer Hebrides. Around half had always wanted to visit.


Outer Hebrides Islands Visitor Survey 2017

Published March 2018

Outer Hebrides Islands Visitor Survey 2017 - executive summary

Published March 2018

Notes on interpretation of Island Visitor Survey 2017

Published March 2018

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