The increase in visits to 1.9 million is an 11.4% rise year-on-year, and represents 45% growth in popularity since 2010. On average tourists spend £32 ($42) during each trip to a visitor centre, up almost 4% year on year and by £11 ($15) per visit in 2010.
Karen Betts, chief executive, SWA, said: “These are exciting times. Scotch Whisky distilleries have invested – and continue to invest – hugely in providing world-class visitor facilities at their sites all over Scotland, and they are collaborating in establishing new whisky trails and finding new ways of telling the story of Scotch to British and foreign visitors alike.
“And it’s a wonderful story: part traditional, part modern and set among Scotland’s communities and in its breathtaking landscapes.”
“Over the past 12 months distilleries have continued to recognise the value of Scotch Whisky tourism, making significant investments to improve the visitor experience – from introducing interactive experiences to extending opening hours, upgrading infrastructure to meet demand and improving the knowledge of tour guides,” said Betts.