Saturday, 31 December 2016 08:23


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As Scotland is set to celebrate 2017 as the Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology, the SNP has encouraged the public to make a New Year’s Resolution to visit some of Scotland’s stunning historic sites.

Official figures show that Scotland’s historic and cultural sites continue to draw visitors in their millions.

Historic Environment Scotland’s staffed sites attracted over 3.75 million visitors in 2015 – a significant increase since 2010. The National Trust for Scotland has also reported growing numbers of visitors in recent years, with 2.65m visitors in 2016 according to figures sourced by SPICe.

The 2017 Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology is expected to increase visitors even further, with events planned across the country. It is the latest of VisitScotland’s ‘Themed Years’, following on from the 2016 Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design, and the 2015 Year of Food and Drink.

SNP MSP Richard Lochhead, who sits on the Scottish Parliament’s Culture Committee, said:

“These figures show that Scotland’s historic sites continue to attract millions of visitors - and it’s not hard to see why. Scotland boasts some of the best historical, cultural and natural sites in the world.

“Our impressive historical and cultural attractions continue to be a great asset to the Scottish economy, bringing in billions of pounds and creating thousands of jobs.

“Both Historic Environment Scotland and the National Trust for Scotland have seen visitor numbers booming in recent years, and this will only grow further as we mark the Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology in 2017.

“We should all make a New Year’s Resolution to visit some of the exceptional historic sites on our doorstep.”



Figures sourced by SPICe said:

Historic Environment Scotland (HES), which is responsible for Historic Scotland properties, provide the following visitor numbers for its staffed sites since 2010:

HES Sites Staffed

2010 3,150,325
2011 3,337,047
2012 3,167,808
2013 3,467,145
2014 3,615,346
2015 3,760,254

As regards the Unstaffed sites, it estimates that it see almost the same numbers to Unstaffed sites as do Staffed sites. In 2014-15 the estimates gave a total Unstaffed site visitor total which was 91% of its staffed site total in the same year, however around half of this was attributable to Holyrood Park.