TOURISM visits to Scotland by residents of Great Britain rose by 12% in the first quarter of this year, figures show.

Jointly sponsored by VisitScotland, VisitEngland and VisitWales, the Great Britain Day Visits Survey showed 20.6 million tourism day visits north of the Border from those living in other parts of Great Britain, with a spend of about £956 million.

The figure rose from 18.4 million visits in the first three months of 2022 – an increase of 12%.

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Tourism minister Richard Lochhead (above) said: “Scotland is increasingly seen as an attractive place to visit and we strive to support and work with the tourism and hospitality sector to grow its economic value, while delivering the very best for visitors, businesses, and communities.

“I recognise the importance of the tourism and hospitality sector for Scotland’s economy and these encouraging statistics reinforce the resilience, creativity, commitment and innovation of the sector in response to what has been an incredibly challenging time.”

Tourism day visits are distinct from leisure day visits, with the latter encompassing visits of longer than three hours to engage in leisure activities.

The figure for leisure day visits stood at 71.6 million in the first quarter of this year.