EMPLOYMENT in tourism has increased by a sixth in the space of a year, official figures show.
The number of jobs in the tourism sector has increased by 29,700 between 2012 and 2013, according to the latest Business Register and Employment Survey.
This represents an increase of 16.4% from 181,500 to 211,200.
Within the sector, the largest rises in the number of jobs are in the restaurant and mobile food services, which has risen by 19,500, and hotels and similar accommodation, which is up by 3,500.
Tourism minister Fergus Ewing said: “Our strong tourism sector provides over 210,000 jobs and is of significant value to the Scottish economy, making up around five per cent of our GDP.
“Tourism plays a vital role in promoting the Scottish brand and it is important that we continue to build on our success in this area.
“We are committed to supporting the tourism industry, we are working with the Scottish Tourism Alliance to deliver Tourism Scotland 2020.
“This strategy seeks to make Scotland a destination of first choice for a high-quality, value-for-money and memorable customer experience, delivered by skilled and passionate people.
“The Scottish Government is supporting, through Skills Development Scotland, a tourism skills investment plan.
“This plan will improve management, leadership and enterprise in the sector, ensuring staff have the skills to deliver a high-quality visitor experience, raise the attractiveness of the sector and provide high-quality training.
“We are also supporting business tourism through our Conference Bid fund, which has helped attract 60 conferences to Scotland over the next seven years.
“This, together with our themed years, such as Homecoming 2014, which included the spectacular Bannockburn Live event, brings people to Scotland during the colder months and showcases the country as a place to visit again and again.”