Fife Tourism Partnership

The Scottish Tourism Index - Monitoring the Views of Scots about Holidays and Breaks

30 November 2023

The October 2023 Scottish Tourism Index provides an overview of the holiday behaviours of Scots this year, focusing on domestic and international travel patterns. Over 1,000 Scots were interviewed in late October and 65% of them had taken a holiday so far - likely to rise to 72% by year-end. However, there's a slight decline in holidays taken within Scotland compared with 2022, On the other hand, the survey suggests that European destinations are witnessing a resurgence among Scots - especially Spain and, to a lesser extent, France, Italy, Germany, Portugal, and Greece.

The survey backs up the findings from the recent survey of tourism businesses undertaken by 56 Degree Insight for the Scottish Tourism Alliance - economic factors continue to significantly influence holiday decisions, with large proportions of Scots affected by the continued high costs of living. The survey saw these impacts peak in April and there are encouraging signs in this survey that these negative impacts are slowly decreasing. Indeed, three in ten Scots were able to take more holidays than they initially feared at the start of the year.

In terms of domestic holiday trends, there's a notable decrease in the number of breaks taken in Scotland, with 52% taking fewer breaks than in 2022 and 45% opting for shorter durations. Economic constraints have led to a shift away from serviced accommodation towards self-catering and reduced spending on many activities, especially eating out. The findings suggest that the trend of reduced domestic holidays and increased interest in European destinations is likely to continue into 2024 - with long haul destinations also seeing recovery for the first time since the pandemic.

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