Whisky fans boost Moray economy

30th July, 2018 by Owen Bellwood

A growing interest in Scotch whisky helped the economic impact of tourism in Moray reach £128.9 million (US$169m) in 2017.

The economic impact of tourism in Moray Speyside reached £128.9 million in 2017

The latest figures from Moray Speyside Tourism state that an extra 50,000 tourists visited the area in 2017, contributing an additional £11m (US$14.4m) to the area’s economy.

Since 2009, an extra 177,000 people have visited Moray, situated in the Speyside whisky region, and have spent an additional £92m (US$121m) in the area.

Chair of the Malt Whisky Trial, James Johnston OBE, said: “Speyside has the highest concentration of whisky distilleries in the world and we know that three out of five visitors to our beautiful region go to a distillery.

“There is a booming interest in whisky worldwide and many distilleries on the Malt Whisky Trail are investing in new visitor experiences so that they can give rising numbers of tourists an unforgettable experience.

“There is plenty to do for both whisky lovers and those who want to see an unspoilt corner of Scotland, encouraging more visitors and longer stays which is important for the region’s economy.”

In 2017, more than 800,000 tourists visited Moray, which helped support the careers of 2,846 people.

Laurie Piper, operations manager for Moray Speyside Tourism, added: “We are seeing an increase in visitors from areas where whisky sales are rising but we’re also experiencing the positive impact of our ongoing campaigns in key international markets and engagement with the worldwide travel trade.

“When looking at Moray Speyside’s most recent results, the area has achieved consistent gains in terms of visitor numbers, visitor days, employment and economic impact since Moray Speyside Tourism became responsible for tourism development in the region.”

Earlier this year, Johnnie Walker owner Diageo announced plans to spend £150m (US$215m) on an extensive upgrade of its Scotch whisky visitor centres.

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