Day visits to Renfrewshire almost doubled between 2015 and 2017, new figures have revealed.
The sharp rise was unveiled in the first annual update of the Renfrewshire Visitor Plan 2018-2021, which aims to develop the area as one of Scotland’s key tourist destinations.
It showed that day visits to Renfrewshire rose from 2.73 million between 2013-2015 to 5.33 million between 2015-2017 – with the area’s thriving events calendar proving popular with visitors.
There was also an increase in day and overnight visitor spend from £72.5 million to £99.1 million during the same period.
The first update of the Renfrewshire Visitor Plan – which was shown before Renfrewshire Council’s Leadership Board – includes the following key achievements:
– visitor numbers to Renfrewshire’s events are expected to exceed growth of 8% in 2018 – surpassing the target of 4% year-on-year;
– The delivery of 15 events, including four major visitor events in 2017 – Paisley Food and Drink Festival, the British Pipe Band Championships, The Spree Festival and Paisley Halloween Festival – all of which witnessed increased attendee numbers;
– the launch of Paisley Welcomes, a new customer service excellence and product familiarisation training programme to enhance the visitor experience in Renfrewshire;
– increased support for tourism business growth with 53 businesses supported and 34 businesses and agencies now regularly engaged in a tourism business network.
This year also saw the development and launch of a new destination brand and the area’s first ever digital guide to Paisley and Renfrewshire – www.Paisley.is.
The website promotes Paisley and Renfrewshire as a place to live work and visit and offers a guide to what’s on across the region, with dedicated content for each town, village and attraction.
Renfrewshire Council Leader Iain Nicolson said: “It’s fantastic to see such positive results in the first annual report of the Renfrewshire Visitor Plan as we continue to work towards transforming tourism in the area.
“Renfrewshire has so much to offer, from our rich heritage and a wide variety of visitor attractions across our towns and villages to our cultural events calendar, which continues to go from strength to strength.
“The phenomenal increase in both day visits and visitor spend underlines the benefits that Renfrewshire’s tourism offer has on the local economy and the appeal for those visiting the area.
“We will look to build upon this in the coming years by continuing to forge positive relationships with the tourism sector across Renfrewshire and strengthened partnerships with national agencies.
“This first report on the Renfrewshire Visitor Plan highlights the excellent work being carried out to build our visitor economy and is a key part of our plans to use our culture and heritage enhance the area’s reputation as a key visitor destination in Scotland.”
Gordon Smith, VisitScotland Regional Director, said: “This incredible increase in day visits and spend in Renfrewshire is testament to the brilliant work being done to boost the area’s tourism and events offering.
“Tourism is more than a holiday experience – it is the heartbeat of the Scottish economy and touches every community, generating income, jobs and social change. VisitScotland is committed to encouraging and supporting the industry to provide world class service, facilities, events and attractions to keep up with ever-changing consumer demands and it is clear that Renfrewshire is making huge strides to ensure visitors continue to have memorable experiences in the region.”