Scotland has been named as the most popular destination to visit in 2017 among readers of one the world’s most popular guidebooks.
Rough Guides, a leading publisher of travel and reference guides, asked its customers to pick their favourite destination to visit in 2017 and Scotland came out on top, ahead of second place Iceland.
The nation polled strongly with travellers and appeared in three separate categories.
As well as being readers’‘favourite destination’, Scotland was also chosen as the ‘most welcoming country’ thanks to the “warm Scottish welcome from whomever you meet,” the guidebook’s website said.
It was mentioned again as one of the best places to view the Northern Lights, which Rough Guide placed at the ‘top of the bucket list’ category.
Rough Guides said: “Scotland, a perennial favourite of Rough Guides readers, is your number one destination for 2017.
“Previously, you named it the most beautiful country in the world – but it’s not all about appearances. This year the Edinburgh Fringe Festival celebrated its 70th year and Glasgow emerged as a foodie destination to watch.
“Whether you’re exploring the capital or discovering Scotland’s little-visited corners, you’re guaranteed a memorable trip.
Macolm Roughead the head of Scotland’s tourism body, VisitScotland welcomed the result.
He said: “It’s fantastic to see that Scotland’s charm has cast its spell once again on the readers of Rough Guides, with the country topping the polls twice to be named Most Welcoming Country and the Favourite Destination of 2017.
“This is an extraordinary honour and a pat on the back for each and every person in Scotland who has demonstrated that famous welcome to our visitors.
“We believe Scotland to be an inclusive destination – one that is open to all - which is why accolades like this are so important and help strengthen our global reputation as a welcoming nation.
“The warmth of the Scottish people was a key part of our successful Spirit of Scotland campaign.”
Winners of the 2017 Rough Guides Readers Awards:
Favourite Destination: Scotland
Coolest City: Osaka, Japan
Most Underrated Destination: Porto, Portugal
Most Exciting Event in 2017: Solar Eclipse, USA
Most Welcoming Country: Scotland
Ultimate Solo Traveller Destination: New Zealand
Most Overrated Tourist Attraction: Mona Lisa, Paris
Top of Bucket List: Northern Lights