Brexit (Impact on European Union Tourists)

– in the Scottish Parliament on 9th October 2019.

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Photo of Colin Beattie Colin Beattie Scottish National Party

8. With incredible similarity—to ask the Scottish Government what the impact has been on the number of EU tourists coming to Scotland this year of any uncertainty caused by Brexit. (S5O-03650)

The Deputy Presiding Officer:

That is why the questions were grouped, Mr Beattie.

Photo of Ben Macpherson Ben Macpherson Scottish National Party

As I indicated in my response to Mr Stevenson, European visitors are essential to the success of Scotland’s tourism industry, with EU countries accounting for six of our top 10 overseas markets in 2018. Although overseas visitor numbers have increased in recent years, data for the year to March 2019 suggest that European visitor numbers fell by 3 per cent, compared with the previous year.

It is clear that continuing Brexit uncertainty poses a threat to our vital tourism industry. That is why we will continue to support the industry, to ensure that Scotland offers a warm welcome to and a high-quality experience for all visitors.

Photo of Colin Beattie Colin Beattie Scottish National Party

It is hard to deny that Brexit will result in barriers to those visiting Scotland and all that we have to offer here. How is the Scottish Government mitigating the negative effects of Brexit on tourism, which is one of Scotland’s vital industries, and welcoming those who wish to visit?

Photo of Ben Macpherson Ben Macpherson Scottish National Party

I mentioned the Scotland is open campaign, and Visit Scotland has produced a guide for EU citizens in six different languages which offers practical advice on travel to Scotland after Brexit

. It will help to ensure that potential travellers are not deterred by uncertainty relating to visas and/or other issues.

In addition, our new tourism strategy, which was developed in partnership with the Scottish Tourism Alliance and other key partners, was recently launched and places meeting visitor expectations at its heart. We will continue to build Scotland’s international reputation as a warm and welcoming destination for visitors from across the globe through our Scotland is now campaign.