Historic Scotland breaks three million visitor barrier
13 March 2007
The record-breaking, three-millionth visitor to Historic Scotland properties in 2006-07 was presented today with a bottle of Dallas Dhu Whisky by Patricia Ferguson, Minister for Tourism, Culture and Sport.
The Minister was on hand to meet the fortunate recipient of the whisky at Edinburgh Castle during Scottish Tourism Week. Forecasts suggest the 75 ticketed Historic Scotland properties will have welcomed more than 3.1 million visitors by the end of the financial year (March 2007).
Patricia Ferguson said:
‘This is a significant achievement and I am delighted to welcome the record-breaking three-millionth visitor to Historic Scotland. It underlines the importance of Scotland’s rich historic environment in attracting visitors from all round the world.
‘I am also very pleased that it comes during Scottish Tourism Week, a time when we celebrate the success of an industry that contributes so much to the nation’s economic wellbeing. We all share the aim to increase tourism revenues by 50% in the ten years to 2015.’
In 2006-07 Historic Scotland forecasts visitor numbers of 3.1 million, a 6% increase on the previous year’s total of 2.9m. Forecast increases at some of the agency’s most well-known attractions include Linlithgow Palace up by 16.1% and St Andrews Castle up by 18.3%. A rise of 2.7% is predicted for Edinburgh Castle, taking its total visitor numbers to 1,208,453.
John Graham, Historic Scotland Chief Executive, said:
‘We are proud to have so many wonderful castles, abbeys, prehistoric settlements and other properties in our care. Our staff are always looking for new ways to encourage visitors to enjoy Historic Scotland attractions and I would like to thank them for their outstanding efforts this year.
‘Passing the three million visitor mark is an important milestone in our development as Scotland’s biggest operator of paid-for visitor attractions. We will continue striving to attract more visitors in the years ahead.’
Mr Graham will also be at Edinburgh Castle when the three-millionth visitor is presented with the whisky which comes from Dallas Dhu Distillery in Forres. Dallas Dhu is cared for by Historic Scotland and is open to the public.
Visitor numbers got off to a strong start in 2006 when the annual Free Weekend, which allows people to enjoy all Historic Scotland properties without paying a penny, attracted a record 103,000 visitors. Strong marketing activity at home and overseas has been successful in attracting increased numbers.
Notes for editors
·Historic Scotland has 345 outstanding properties in its care, including some of the country’s leading visitor attractions - ·Edinburgh, ·Stirling and ·Urquhart castles, ·Fort George, ·Linlithgow Palace and ·Skara Brae.
·75 of these visitor attractions are admission based and 270 are free entry. Visitor numbers can only be monitored at staffed sites.
Historic Scotland is an agency within the Scottish Executive Education Department and is directly responsible to Scottish Ministers for safeguarding the nation’s historic environment and promoting its understanding and enjoyment.
·Scottish Tourism Week takes place from the 12th to the 16th of March. More information on ·www.stforum.co.uk
·Historic Scotland is currently working on a Visitor Reception Project at Edinburgh Castle which will see a new visitor reception welcome area and improvements in ticketing systems and front of house services.
·Supporting photos are available– please contact press office for details.