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Digital Subscriptions > History Scotland > Jul - Aug 2019 > FINAL WORD


Gordon Morrison, CEO of the Association of Scottish Visitor Attractions, talks to History Scotland about the changing face of tourism


What are the main ways in which the climate for visitor attractions has changed since ASVA was founded in 1988?

Probably the biggest change is the fact that there is now a real recognition that tourism is at the heart of the Scottish economy and that visitor attractions play a huge part in the success of the tourism industry. Visitor attractions are big business in Scotland with over 32 million visitors to ASVA member sites in 2018, which is a growth in visitor numbers for the fifth year in a row. The growth in visitor numbers has, of course, also created challenges, with the recent buzzword of ‘overtourism’ appearing more and more frequently in relation to stories about the success of tourism in Scotland. Whilst many visitor attractions have been enjoying record visitor numbers over the past few years and this can put pressure on visitor experience at peak times, it must be recognised that not one of our member sites has indicated that they are in any way operating at full capacity, so it is important that we don’t get too carried away with the idea that we cannot take any more visitors!

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About History Scotland

Five reasons not to miss July/August History Scotland * 19 archaeology projects to enjoy this summer * BRAND NEW research on the life of Margaret Tudor * Exclusive curator preview of the major new exhibition Wild and Majestic and National Museums Scotland * BONUS CONTENT Videos, interview * The unexpected Darien hero - Captain Robert Pincarton