Overwhelming number of tourists would recommend Ayrshire as holiday destination

Ayrshire's stunning landscapes and coastlines were a big hit amongst visitors to the region
-Credit: (Image: Daily Record)

A total of 80 per cent of visitors to Ayrshire and Arran would recommend it as a holiday or short break destination, according to the latest regional research from VisitScotland.

The Scotland Visitor Survey 2023: Ayrshire & Arran, published by the national tourism organisation, found that around half of respondents were first time visitors to Scotland, with 72 per cent rating their experience 9 or 10 out of 10.

Among the Ayrshire and Arran sample, 77 per cent said scenery and landscape were the top reasons for choosing to visit Scotland. History and culture followed in second place (46 per cent), with visiting friends and family in third (27 per cent).

Fifty one per cent of respondents said they visited a castle or fort while in the area. This was closely followed by visiting a historic house or stately home (49 per cent) visiting a country park or garden (48 per cent), shopping (45 per cent) and visiting a heritage or visitor centre (36 per cent).

Of the region’s visitors, 89 per cent of the respondents were repeat visitors to Scotland, with the majority (81 per cent) coming from the UK.

The Scotland Visitor Survey usually takes place every three or four years but was delayed due to the pandemic and was conducted in 2023.

It aims to help understand why visitors take a holiday or short break in Scotland and how they rate their experiences when here.

Visitors were surveyed in-person between March and October last year, and then responded to an online survey when they returned home.

Lynsey Eckford, Regional Director at VisitScotland, said: “The Scotland Visitor Survey provides valuable insight for everyone involved in tourism and events.

“It’s no surprise that those who travelled to Ayrshire and Arran cited our scenery and landscape and history and culture as their top reasons for travelling to Scotland. Our region’s coastlines, beaches, islands and famous seaside towns, as well as fantastic visitor experiences including Culzean and Brodick Castles and Craufurdland Country Estate, will undoubtedly have inspired many visitors.

“Understanding the motivations and experiences of visitors is essential in developing the Ayrshire and Arran region as a must-visit, must-return visitor destination.

“We will continue to work with businesses and partners to enhance the region’s tourism offering and ensure it is at the forefront of visitors’ minds.”

For more information about the Scotland Visitor Survey 2023 for Ayrshire and Arran visit: https://www.visitscotland.org/research-insights/regions/ayrshire-arran

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