Scotland

Glasgow 2014 boosts visits to Scots attractions

Kelvingrove Image copyright PA
Image caption Glasgow's Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum saw an increase in visitors thanks to the Commonwealth Games

The Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games helped Scottish tourist attractions boost their visitors by almost 10% last year.

Glasgow attractions such as Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum saw a significant increase in people through their doors.

However, Edinburgh also benefited, according to the latest figures.

In total, there were more than 12 million visits to Scottish tourist attractions in 2014.

The host city's Riverside Museum and the People's Palace also got more visitors thanks to the Games, said the Association of Leading Visitor Attractions (Alva).

Image copyright PA
Image caption Edinburgh Castle was the UK's most visited paid-for attraction outside London in 2014

The National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh was the most popular free attraction with more than 1.6 million visitors, making it the most visited museum outside London.

Edinburgh Castle was the most visited paid-for attraction outside London with almost 1.5 million visitors - a 4% increase on the previous year.

Good weather also helped outdoor attractions such as the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, Urquhart Castle and Stirling Castle boost their numbers.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Usain Bolt of Jamaica greets fans as he celebrates winning gold at Glasgow 2014

Alva director Bernard Donoghue said: "Scotland's impressive visitor figures - which outperform the rest of the UK - are proof of the need for, and of the successful investment strategy by, the Scottish government, local government and the Heritage Lottery Fund in investing in tourism, which is Scotland's most important industry."

'First class destination'

In November last year research found that Glasgow's hosting of the Commonwealth Games brought £282m worth of tourism to the city.

Researchers said 690,000 people travelled to the city to attend the Games, with hotel occupancy reaching 95%.

Commenting on the Alva figures, Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop said: "These figures build on the successes of Homecoming 2014, the Commonwealth Games and the Ryder Cup and underline Scotland's global reputation as a welcoming, first class destination for visitors from at home and around the world.

"I am confident we can build on the momentum created in 2014 and continue to deliver strong, high quality experiences that will entice visitors back to our cultural attractions time and time again."

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