Telling the tales of how whisky is made and tales of distilleries roots is an art as much as making whisky is a science. It’s an experience people want to see, hear and smell person. An increase in whisky sales across the globe is also leading to an increase in whisky tourism across the globe and Scottish whisky distilleries are enjoying the growth just like the distilled spirits distilleries in the U.S.
Whiskey Tourism Up 15.3% in 2017
Diageo is reporting that tourism is in good spirits as their 2017 numbers reveal a record year of visitors to Diageo distilleries across Scotland. The number of tourists visiting their 12 distillery visitor centers across Scotland reached a record high of 440,260 – an increase of 15.2% on the previous year and the highest figure reported to date as whisky distilleries.
Over the last five years, the attractions have recorded a remarkable 96.3% growth in visitor numbers across the country, fuelled by international visitors to Scotland and the increasing rise of staycations.
Blair Athol Distillery in Pitlochry, the iconic ‘home’ of the Bells’ Scotch whisky brand, was Diageo’s busiest distillery visitor centre drawing in 86,019 people over the 12 month period. This rise in visitors, up 23% from the previous year, is in part due to the launch of the site’s innovative mash tun whisky tasting bar which was officially opened by Malcolm Roughead, Chief Executive of VisitScotland, in July.
“As the country’s lead export, Scotch whisky is one of the biggest magnets for tourism and we’re continuing to grow visitor numbers from around the world,” said Ewan Andrew, Head of International Supply. “We’re also continually working to ensure those visitors have the best experience at our distilleries. They always enjoy meeting the makers, then tasting and learning more about our outstanding Single Malts and Blended Scotch Whiskies. We look forward to welcoming even more visitors to our distilleries throughout the year, and especially so for International Scotch Day (February 8, 2018.)”
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Free Entry to Diageo’s Distilleries on International Scotch Day
To celebrate the second International Scotch Day (8th February), the distillery visitor centers will open their doors for free standard tours on Thursday 8th, Saturday 10th and Sunday 11th February.
The participating Visitor Centres are at Blair Athol, Caol Ila, Cardhu, Clynelish, Dalwhinnie, Glenkinchie, Glen Ord, Lagavulin, Oban, Royal Lochnagar and Talisker. The Cragganmore Distillery Visitor Centre is currently closed until March 2018. Diageo says free tour entry is subject to availability.
- Blair Athol Distillery
- Caol Ila Distillery
- Cardhu Distillery
- Clynelish Distillery
- Cragganmore Distillery
- Dalwhinnie Distillery
- Glen Ord Distillery
- Glenkinchie Distillery
- Lagavulin Distillery
- Oban Distillery
- Royal Lochnagar Distillery
- Talisker Distillery