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Tourism in Scotland

Bell, David N.F. and Emmett, Gary and Fraser, Neil and Jowett, Anne and Kirwan, Frank X. and McNicoll, Iain H. and Moar, Lyle and Orton, Ian and Simpson, David R. F. and Wingfield, A. A. (1980) Tourism in Scotland. Quarterly Economic Commentary, 5 (3). pp. 25-29. ISSN 0306-7866

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In 1978 13.2 million tourist and business travellers spent £523 million in Scotland, Foreign visitors, although only 8.5% of the total, contributed £158 million (ie 30.2%) of tourist expenditure. As such tourism is both an "invisible" export, since it is a means of earning foreign exchange, and a significant provider of jobs, many of which are created in the remoter rural areas. Despite its importance statistics relating specifically to tourism are not readily available from published sources. The "industry" actually combines the resources of a wide range of activities, most of which have economic and social links with other sectors of the economy independent from tourism. These include hotels and catering, transport and travel services as well as entertainment, sport and recreation facilities. Consequently the economic impact of tourism is generally assessed not in terms of employment and output but by more indirect measures such as numbers of visitors, or bednights spent in Scotland, as well as tourist expenditure and hotel occupancy data. This brief will examine the wider economic impact of Scotland's tourism industry and its future.