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New figures released by Office for National Statistics have revealed that Scotland welcomed a record 3.9 million international visitors last year.

The 2023 International Passenger Survey (IPS) by the Office of National Statistics showed almost four million overseas tourists came to Scotland last year, an increase of 15% on 2019 levels with spend also up 41%.

The previous record for international visits was in 2018 when Scotland welcomed 3.7 million overseas tourists.

This means that in 2023, Scotland was the only UK nation or region to surpass 2019 levels.

The main purpose of international visitors trips to Scotland last year was for a holiday (2.5 million visits). This was followed by visiting friends and relatives (1 million), then for a business trip (366,000).

European visitors were responsible for more than half of all trips (58%) with trips increasing by almost a fifth compared to 2022.

This was followed by North American visitors which accounted for almost a quarter of total visits (24%), up by 16% on the previous year. Visitors from the rest of the world accounted for 17% of all inbound visits.


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