VisitScotland Chief Executive, Malcolm Roughead, claims Scotland continues to be a must-visit destination in the global tourism market.
He was responding to the release of the International Passenger Survey (IPS) tourism statistics by the UK Office of National Statistics (ONS).
Mr Roughead said: “These latest figures show that Scotland continues to punch above its weight in a hugely competitive global market, with our country seen around the world as a ‘must-visit’ destination.
“In the 12 months from April 2016 to March 2017, we saw a three per cent increase in trips and a nine per cent increase in spend among our international visitors.
“This was driven largely by a 19 per cent increase in trips and a 40 per cent rise in spend among those coming from North America, who are showing an ever-growing appetite for our history, culture and our stunning landscapes. Favourable exchange rates during this period also played a part.
“We will, of course, not rest on our laurels. We need to think bigger about Scotland as a tourism destination to ensure we fulfil our potential – every visitor must get a quality experience every single time.
“Our industry is the heartbeat of the Scottish economy, causing a ripple effect which touches every industry and community, creating employment and economic growth.”