Scotland’s tourism industry could be worth more than £23 billion to the economy by 2025, doubling the current value of the sector, according to a new report.
The figures serve to highlight the importance of the industry to the ongoing economic recovery, national tourism organisation VisitScotland said.
The report, conducted by Deloitte and commissioned by VisitBritain, says that the tourism economy will be worth around £11.6 billion in 2013, equivalent to 10.3% of Scotland’s GDP.
The industry currently supports over 292,000 jobs, which equates to 10.9% of all jobs.
Deloitte predicts that the sector could be worth £23.1 billion by 2025, supporting 350,000 jobs.
The firm, which provides audit and finance services, also estimates that for every £1,000 of value generated in direct tourism, there is a further £1,200 of value that is secured elsewhere in the economy.
Its report highlights the importance of overseas visitors - or inbound tourism - which is the fastest growing part of the industry. Spending by international visitors is forecast to grow by over 6% each year.
Mike Cantlay, chairman of VisitScotland, said: “Tourism is a cornerstone of Scottish industry and is vitally important to the ongoing stabilisation of the economy.
“I’m delighted to see the importance being placed on tourism, highlighting the fundamental role it has in job creation, economy growth and ultimately putting Scotland firmly on the front foot after a difficult economic period.
“Our popularity with our international markets comes as no surprise.
“In 2014, the Ryder Cup in Gleneagles, the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Homecoming Scotland and the recently-announced MTV Europe Music Awards, also in Glasgow, will allow us to market our beautiful country on a global stage like never before.
“We are going to welcome the world to these shores with an opportunity to create a lasting legacy for Scotland. Our promise is that we will not only meet expectations, but exceed them.”