South of Scotland MSP and Chair of Dumfries and Galloway Council’s Economy, Environment and Infrastructure Committee Colin Smyth has welcomed new figures from The Association of Leading Visitor Attractions which highlighted a growth in tourism across the are as ‘a clear and positive step forward’.

The report released yesterday (Monday 27 March) details the largest visitor attractions in the UK and showed a huge 15.6% increase in visitors to Scottish attractions. Across the UK the national average was 7.2% increase.

2016 was a record year for Scottish tourism.

The report detailed the top 250 visitor attractions across the UK had an incredible 9 attractions from the south of Scotland making the list.

They are:

·         133 Culzean Castle and Country Park (209,710 visitors, fall of -5.6% from previous year)

·         157 Burns Birthplace Museum (140,528 visitors, 28.6% rise)

·         183 National Museum of Flight (88,274 visitors, 15% rise)

·         200 Melrose Abbey (52,073 visitors, 9% rise)

·         212 Tantallon Castle (42,708 visitors, 2% rise)

·         215 Caerlaverock Castle (35,633 visitors, 7% rise)

·         216 Dawyck Botanic Garden (34,319 visitors, 1.6% rise)

·         223 Brodick Castle and Country Park (27,896 visitors, 12.9% rise)

·         228 Logan Botanic Garden (22,890 visitors, 2% rise)

Scotland’s highest placed attraction was the National Museum of Scotland which attracted 1.8 million people in 2016.

Discussing the report Colin Smyth MSP said:

“This report highlights two clear issues about tourism in Scotland. The first being that local attractions can and have shown to be a hugely important part of the offer to attract tourists to Scotland and secondly if promoted as well as attractions in the big cities, they could become even more significant pillars of the local economy.

The report shows that local attractions in the South of Scotland are punching above their weight and able to compete with some of the ‘big attractions’ despite clearly having fewer resource.

I welcome these figures as it shows the work done by the local councils and VisitScotland is making a difference. But we cannot be complacent. More needs to be done to ensure that visitors look to the south as often as they look to the Highlands and Islands or big cities when they are visiting Scotland.

We clearly have a positive range of good visitor attractions . We just need to fully market them”



For a full breakdown of all the results please visit:

The list of Scottish attractions on the ALVA list (in order of UK ranking):

15 National Museum of Scotland

16 Edinburgh Castle

18 Scottish National Gallery

24 Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum

25 Riverside Museum and Gallery

41 Royal Botanic Gardens in Edinburgh

50 National War Museum in Edinburgh

57 Gallery of Modern Art

62 Edinburgh Zoo

68 Stirling Castle

84 Urquhart Castle

99 Scottish National Portrait Gallery

102 People’s Palace

103 Glasgow Cathedral

109 Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art (Modern One)

131 Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art (Modern Two)

133 Culzean Castle and Country Park

157 Burns Birthplace Museum

158 St Mungos Museum of Religious Life and Art

159 Culloden (one place above the Battle of Hastings battle site)

165 Burrell Collection (now closed for refurbishment)

171 National Museum of Rural Life in East Kilbride

175 Crathes Castle

177 Skara Brae

181 Inverewe Gardens

182 Doune Castle

183 National Museum of Flight

184 Provand’s Lordship

188 St Andrews Castle

190 Linlithgow Palace

194 Iona Abbey

198 Fort George

200 Melrose Abbey

203 Argyll’s Lodgings

207 Benmore Botanic Garden

208 Scotland Street School Museum

209 Drum Castle

210 St Andrews Cathedral

211 Bannockburn

212 Tantallon Castle

213 Falkland Palace

215 Caerlaverock Castle

216 Dawyck Botanic Garden

217 Pitmedden Garden

219 Elgin Cathedral

220 Blackness Castle

223 Brodick Castle and Country Park

224 Hill House

228 Logan Botanic Garden

230 Gladstone’s Land

238 Glasgow Museum Resource Ce

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