Chinese visitors to Diageo’s Scottish distilleries up triple digits

11th September, 2017 by Annie Hayes

Chinese visitor numbers to Diageo-owned distilleries in Scotland rose by 154% in 2016, with total spend per customer “significantly higher” than in its top three tourism markets.

Chinese visitor numbers to Diageo-owned distilleries in Scotland – such as Lagavulin – rose by 154% in 2016

Though Chinese tourist numbers are lower than those from the key markets of Germany, France and the US, spend per head is almost one third higher, according to Diageo’s analysis.

The drinks group, which owns distilleries such as Dalwhinnie, Lagavulin, and Cardhu, also highlighted visitor admissions and revenues from Russia. Numbers were up 146% year-on-year, with an average spend on par with the Chinese market.

Overall Scotch whisky distilleries attracted a record-breaking 1.7 million visitors in 2016 according to the Scotch Whisky Association

Diageo Scotland director, Ewan Andrew, said: “Scotch is not only Scotland’s most valuable export industry, it is the world’s most popular spirit, attracting thousands of international visitors to Scotland every year. The latest Scotch Whisky Association tourism figures indicate that a record 1.7 million tourists visited Scotch distilleries last year, up almost 8% on 2015.

“As demand for premium products and interest in scotch grows in China and Russia, tourists from these countries are visiting distilleries not only to purchase whisky straight from the distillery, but to discover the expertise and craft that goes into making every bottle.”

In July, the annual number of tourists visiting Diageo’s 12 distillery visitor centres in Scotland passed the 400,000 mark for the first time.

Visitor numbers have followed an consistent upward trajectory in the last 10 years, with Diageo-owned distilleries now attracting more than double the number of people recorded eight years ago.

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