- Tourism in Scotland
Scotlandis a well-developed tourist destination, with tourismgenerally being responsible for sustaining 200,000 jobs mainly in the service sector, with tourist spending averaging at £4bn per year [http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/Tourism] . Tourists from the United Kingdommake up the bulk of visitors to Scotland. In 2002 , for example, UK visitors made 18.5 million visits to Scotland, staying 64.5 million nights and spending £3.7bn. In contrast, overseas residents made 1.58 million visits to Scotland, staying 15 million nights and spending £806m. In terms of overseas visitors, those from the United Statesmade up 24% of visits to Scotland, with the United States being the largest source of overseas visitors, and Germany(9%), France(8%), Canada(7%) and Australia(6%), following behind. [http://www.staruk.org.uk//default.asp?ID=659&parentid=469]
Scotland is generally seen as clean, unspoilt destination with beautiful scenery which has a long and complex history, combined with thousands of historic sites and attractions. These include prehistoric
stone circles, standing stones and burial chambers, and various Bronze Age, Iron Ageand Stone Ageremains. There are also many historic castles, houses, and battlegrounds, ruins and museums. Many people are drawn by the culture of Scotland.
The cities of
Edinburghand Glasgoware increasingly being seen as a cosmopolitan alternative to Scotland's countryside, with visitors year round, but the main tourist season is generally from April to October inclusive. In addition to these factors, the national tourist agency, VisitScotland, have deployed a strategy of niche marketing, aimed at exploiting, amongst other things, Scotland's strengths in golf, fishingand food and drink tourism. Another significant, and increasingly popular reason for tourism to Scotland - especially by those from North America- is genealogy, with many visitors coming to Scotland to explore their family and ancestral roots.
Scotland is connected to the rest of the United Kingdom by a
road, rail and air network. The airports at Glasgow, Prestwick, Edinburgh and Aberdeen serve as the main international gateways to Scotland, with an expanding route network. In terms of international air links with Europe, the country is generally well connected, with daily flights from a variety of European cities, such as Paris, Berlin, Rome, Barcelona, Dublinand Stockholm. There are also direct flights operated from the main Scottish airports to destinations in North America such as New York, Atlanta, Boston, Philadelphia, Toronto, Vancouverand Calgary. The expanding budget airline network from Scotland's airports is making a significant contribution to bringing more visitors to the country.
The country is also connected to
mainland Europeby a car ferry service operating daily from Rosythin Fife to the Belgian port of Zeebrugge. Ferry services also connect Scotland with Northern Ireland, operating between Stranraerand Belfastand Cairnryanand Larne.
The ferry to
Gothenburg, Sweden, from "Newcastle" (actually North Shields) in northern England(currently run by the Danish company DFDS Seaways), ceased at the end of October 2006 [ [http://www.thelocal.se/article.php?ID=4805&date=20060906 "DFDS scraps Newcastle-Gothenburg line"] , The Local, 7 September 2006: "Danish shipping company DFDS Seaways is to scrap the only passenger ferry route between Sweden and Britain, with the axing of the Gothenburg-Newcastle route at the end of October."] . This service was a key route for Scottish tourist traffic from Sweden and Norway. The company cited high fuel prices and new competitionfrom low-cost air services, especially Ryanair(which now flies to Glasgow Prestwickand London Stanstedfrom Gothenburg City Airport), as being the cause. DFDS Seaways' sister company, DFDS Tor Line, will continue to run scheduled freightships between Gothenburg and several English ports, including Newcastle, and these have limited capacity for passengers, but not private vehicles. It is unclear if the Newcastle- Kristiansand, Norway, route will continue.
Tourist Destinations in Scotland
Edinburghis the capital city, and is widely regarded as one of the most beautiful cities in Europe. The Old and New Towns of the city constitute a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Edinburgh is the largest tourist destination in Scotland, and the second largest in the United Kingdom after London. The cities' major tourist attractions include Edinburgh Castle, Edinburgh Zoo, the Palace of Holyroodhouse, Our Dynamic Earthand the Royal Mile. It has three universities including the University of Edinburghfounded in 1583.
Glasgowis the largest city in the country, and the second largest tourist destination after Edinburgh. Its attractions include the Burrell Collection, Glasgow Cathedral, the Glasgow Science Centreand the Kelvingrove Museum. In addition to this many tourists come to Glasgow for its renowned Victorian architectureand Gothic architectureas well as its shopping. The city has three universities, including the University of Glasgow.
Stirlingis a historic town in central Scotland, some 30 miles to the north-west of Edinburgh, and is generally known as the "Gateway to the Highlands", due to its geographical position between highland and lowland Scotland. Amongst its attractions are Stirling Castleand the Wallace National Monument.
Aberdeenis known as the " GraniteCity" and is renowned for its gothic architecture. It is a city of approximately 210,000 people and serves as the main administrative centre for the north east of Scotland. With its large port and harbour, Aberdeen serves as the departure point for the many ferries that connect the Scottish mainland with the Northern Isles of Orkneyand Shetland. Aberdeen also has two universities, and a large student population.
St Andrewsis a small, but busy town in north-east Fife. The royal burgh's economy is centred around the golfindustry, with St Andrewsbeing regarded as the home of the modern game. The University of St Andrews(the oldest in Scotland) has colleges located throughout the town.
Dundeeis known as the "City of Discovery" and is the home of Scott of the Antarctic's ship the RRS Discovery. Dundee has two universities. It has a Jute museum called Verdant Works, an Anchor Point of ERIH - The European Route of Industrial Heritage.
*Perth is a small but historic town on the east coast, which stands on the
River Tay. Perth is known for its abundant parkland. Close by is the village of Scone, ancient capital of Scotland and former home to Scottish kings.
Invernessis the administrative centre for the Highlands, close to Loch Nessand serves as a transport hub for much of the Highlands, with rail and bus services departing here to much of the northern and west Highlands. It is a popular destination for tourists wishing to explore the north of Scotland.
Other areas which are popular for tourists include the Highlands and the
Hebrides, such as the Isle of Skye. Perthshire, the Scottish Bordersand Orkneyand Shetlandare also popular tourism destinations. Ben Nevisis the highest mountain in the United Kingdom, but there are many other significant mountains in Scotland, though by international standards all the mountains are relatively small. The Cuillin on the Isle of Skye offer some challenging climbs, such as the Inaccessible Pinnacle.
Scotland also has many
lochs, including Loch Lomond, and Loch Ness, which is considered by some to be the home of the Loch Ness monster. There are also many rivers, which are good for salmonand fly fishing. These include the Tay, Tweed, Don, and Dee.
Scotland's best known export is
Scotch Whiskyand over a million visitors a year [ [http://www.scotlandwhisky.com/press-media/907419 "Whisky Tourism - Project history and facts"] , Scotlandwhisky.com - Scotland's Whisky tourism site"] . enjoy a tour around its Whisky distilleries
Scotland has some good
hunting, especially deer stalkingand grouse shooting.
Scotland is also the home of
golf, with many historic and famous courses including, St Andrews, Gleneagles, Royal Troon, Carnoustie, and Muirfield. There are hundreds of other courses in the country.
Museums in Scotland
Common Travel Area
Tourism in England
Tourism in Wales
* [http://www.visitscotland.com/ VisitScotland- The Official Site of Scotland's National Tourist Board]
* [http://www.visitbritain.com/VB3-en-US/destinationguides/scotland/index.aspx VisitBritain website - Scotland homepage]
* [http://www.guesthousebandbscotland.com Scotland's National Guest house and Bed & Breakfast Assoction]
* [http://www.pagemost.com "www.pagemost.com"] , Interactive Google maps showing local places and attractions, complete with Flickr photographs. Search by UK place name or postcode. Shows many Scottish land features.
* [http://www.cometoscotland.com/ Come to Scotland] , - The Official Site for travellers coming to Scotland from the United States and Canada
* [http://www.scotlandwhisky.com/ ScotlandWhisky] - A guide to Scotland's Scotch Whisky distilleries which are open to the public.
* [http://www.visittweeddale.com/ Visit Tweeddale] , - Guide to Tweeddale and the Peebles area of the Scottish Borders
* [http://liveit.visitscotland.com/ Live It VisitScotland] VisitScotland's culture Website, featuring range of events and festivals in Scotland, and articles on cultural destinations, shopping and food and drink.
* [http://www.mountainbikesapart.com/category/trails/south-west-scotland/ Mountain Bikes Apart's guide to South West Scotland mountain biking activities. Other areas are also covered on the site.]
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