the whisky blog

March 16, 2009

Whisky Tourism Quenches Thirst for Knowledge

Filed under: 1 — bill mackintosh @ 10:00 am

Figures announced today by Scotlandwhisky – the national Whisky tourism organisation – report a trend-bucking picture for distillery visitor centres. The data shows that 1,236,329 visitors toured a distillery in 2008, a 0.21% increase in numbers over the previous year. More significantly, spend increased by 12.2% – boosting the Scottish economy by £25 Million.

Commenting on the figures, Chris Conway of ScotlandWhisky said: “Visiting a distillery remains one of the ‘must-do’ activities for tourists in Scotland. The number of visitors has held-out strongly in what are difficult conditions – VisitScotland research reports a -4.1% decrease in numbers in 2008 – and the impressive spend figure reflects the investment that distillers have made in their visitor centres over the last few years”

Conway continued: “There is a real thirst for knowledge, with enthusiasts and novices alike wanting to learn as much as possible about the making of Scotch Whisky. Distillers continue to innovate to meet this demand and have introduced a whole selection of tours to satisfy consumers’ growing interest in all aspects of Scotch.
“In addition to general tours, many have introduce in-depth masterclasses, often hosted by the distillery manager, which offer the public an opportunity to explore overlooked parts of distilleries and sample rare bottlings.”

With Scotch Whisky positioned as a central pillar of this year’s Homecoming celebrations, it is hoped that these positive results will continue throughout 2009. May, having been named ‘Whisky Month’, will witness the largest ever Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival, to celebrate its 10th anniversary, and a new Spirit of the West festival will be taking place at Inveraray Castle. In addition, Feis Ile, the legendary Islay malt and music festival, and a number of individual distillery events will be taking place. There will be plenty to attract the whisky enthusiast back to Scotland.

To assist the promotion of Whisky Month, Scotlandwhisky’s Embassies have put together Whisky packages and events for May. For more details see: http://www.ScotlandWhisky.com

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