Scotland's Economy

Scottish Business Buzz (16.08.17)

Record number of tourists in summer holiday boom say VisitScotland. 

Although official figures are not yet available for this summer’s season, VisitScotland have confirmed that its been a bumper year for many of Scotland’s top attractions, including Edinburgh and Stirling Castles, the National Museum of Scotland and the Scotch Whisky Experience.

Tour operators have said that bookings were up by as much as 30 per cent. Footfall through airports is also at an all-time high this summer. International passengers at Edinburgh Airport increased 15 per cent to 822,371 in June. Meanwhile Highlands and Islands Airports Ltd (HIAL) reported increased passenger numbers at its 11 airports across Scotland, with a total of 477,612 people arriving and departing between April and June 2017, up 13 per cent from the same period in 2016.

Simon Chiu, lecturer in hospitality and tourism at Edinburgh’s Napier University, said: “From Edinburgh to the Isle of Skye there is a definite jump in inbound tourists. Statistically Scotland is doing better than the UK, perhaps because it seems more open-minded and welcoming for the EU tourist.”

Tourism experts, guides and visitor attraction managers claim the boom to be a combination of the fall in Sterling and the ‘Outlander effect’.

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Scottish business output rising at fastest pace in three years

Businesses in Scotland’s private sector have put the growth of output in July down to stronger expansion in both services and manufacturing sectors.

The Bank of Scotland’s regional purchasing managers’ index (PMI) for July registered a strong growth in new orders in the manufacturing sector and job creation at a 31 month high, signalling an expansion in the Scottish private sector workforce for the second month running.

Fraser Sime, regional director of Bank of Scotland commercial banking said: “July’s survey results signalled the Scottish private sector moving up a gear, as the PMI posted its strongest result in 33 months.

“This good news was fuelled by the service sector returning to meaningful growth, alongside a faster increase in manufacturing output.

“Job creation remained positive for the second month running, with July marking the fastest expansion in employment in over two-and-a-half years. Employment growth was consistent across the manufacturing and service sectors.”

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EU funding granted for Scottish seafood sector

Sea fisheries, aquaculture and processing businesses in Scotland will receive a share of £8.4 million in finding to boost growth and protect jobs in coastal communities in the latest round of the EU’s European and Maritime Fisheries Fund.

The fund will help to deliver 86 projects that will enable businesses to upgrade or modernise equipment across the country.

Announcing details of the funding, Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing said that Scotland’s rural economy played a crucial role in supporting communities.

“This support will help processing businesses to expand and enhance their work and make the day to day routines of fishermen easier and safer, by improving the quality of its products and enabling them to develop more environmentally friendly methods.

“I will continue to put pressure on the U.K. government to engage Scotland on its thinking regarding future funding arrangements in order that we can shape a set of arrangements which respond to Scotland’s needs and reflect the devolved nature of marine policy,” he said.

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New whisky festival, Theatre of Drams, arrives in Islay

Five days of whisky tasting, which is said to teach you enough to start your own distillery, Theatre of Drams Whisky Symposium will be coming to Islay from 23-27 October 2017, Bowmore Hall, Islay.

With knowledge imparted by distillers, barley experts, chemists, coppersmiths, coopers, brand ambassadors and more. You can also enjoy theoretical lectures each morning follow the linear process of whisky making – Malting, Mashing, Distillation, Maturation, Libation/Marketing/Nosing & Tasting. While the aternoons offer Peat Cutting, Gaelic (& English) Distillery Tours, Whisky Tastings, Ceilidh Corner, Independent Bottlers, Independent Distillers and much more.

Buy individual tickets from Eventbrite under the Theatre of Drams Organiser. New events uploaded daily.

Logan Air flights from Glasgow to Islay every morning and evening

If you can stay all week, sign up for  the 5 Days Islay Whisky School package.  Your hosted week includes lectures, accommodation, special educational distillery visits, dinners and other events. Proudly be presented with your Islay Whisky School Certificate at Grand Finale Whisky Dinner.

email for details.

Only three weeks to go until our biggest and best annual dinner yet. 

Book your tickets here.

About the author

Rhona Middler

Rhona was Business for Scotland's Engagement Executive and Events Manager.

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