Tourism

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A magnet for tourism

Our strong year-round tourism economy and demand for accommodation in key locations present significant opportunities for developers and investors.

Thriving business, breathtaking attractions and world-class sporting facilities mean Scotland is a destination of choice to live, work and study. The reasons for Scotland’s success in attracting high quality tourism development investment go far beyond our rich cultural heritage, spectacular scenery and impressive reputation for hosting global events. 

Talented and abundant workforce

With 5 universities in the world’s top 200, Scotland has more world-class universities per head of population than any other country across the globe.

The tourism sector in Scotland supports the jobs of 217,000 people across over 14,000 diverse businesses. With excellent opportunities for training, leadership and funding support, that number is growing quickly. Scotland is, of course, famed for the friendliness of its people, so you can be sure that your workforce always offers the warmest of welcomes.

Scottish graduates in chemicals sciences
VisitScotland / Kenny Lam, all rights reserved

Exceptional opportunities

Scotland’s success in attracting prestigious brands, global companies, major events and leading conferences ensures that it remains an extremely competitive location and excellent investment choice for high quality tourism developments.

The strong markets in Scottish cities drive year round occupancy, and high room rates in key locations such as Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen mean that demand for additional accommodation - particularly 4-star and above - presents significant opportunities for providers, developers and investors.

People are drawn to Scotland to live, work and study

Scotland is one of the most transformed economies in the western world, moving from shipbuilding, engineering and textiles, to some of the best in life sciences and games design.

It remains one of the world’s most inviting and hospitable countries. Millions of visitors come to Scotland to experience its breathtaking countryside and its thriving, vibrant cities every year.

Scotland is the home of golf and gifted the game to the world, with iconic locations such as St Andrews and Turnberry, Carnoustie and Muirfield inspiring golfers around the world and bringing tourists back time and time again.

VisitScotland / Kenny Lam, all rights reserved

Sustained industry growth

Global brands like Hilton, Fairmont, De Vere, Malmaison, Marriott and Radisson have seen sustained success in Scotland, and our support has helped them in their journey. As evidenced by the abundance of leading brands, the tourism industry in Scotland has demonstrated consistent and sustained growth and currently contributes £6 billion to the economy every year. 

While many new tourism projects are planned and in progress, demand currently outstrips supply, so there are still further development opportunities available in Scotland. A prime example of the type of project currently underway in Scotland is the £1 billion investment into the V&A Museum of Design Dundee, with the development on track to be completed in 2018.

Our support

Our role is to make investing, setting up and succeeding in Scotland as easy as possible. We have supported companies to invest over £330 million in capital expenditure to build new hotels and refurbish existing buildings in the last 4 years alone. These investments also introduce new business and leisure tourists to Scotland.

Based in Glasgow, we have 40 offices in 20 countries around the world, including Japan, Russia, China, Brazil, UAE and the USA.

We can help you with:

  • Finding the right location – including access to sites and deals not available on the open market
  • Identifying partners, investors, developers and operators
  • Market intelligence and key performance statistics
  • Liaising with local authorities and Scotland’s government bodies to help project completion
  • An after-care package for inward investments to help business development, such as marketing support, market research, PR services, investment advice and specialised training

We connect you to the right people and resources to help your business thrive.


International Sector Head - Graeme White

We have offices in 20 countries, staffed by teams who can talk you through Scotland’s capabilities and the funding support that may be available to you.

Tell us a bit about your business and a specialist from your region or sector will get back to you.

Get in touch with us