Value of tourism industry to Dundee soars by £16m in the space of a year

V&A Dundee attracted more than 300,000 visitors in its first three months since opening its doors in September.
V&A Dundee attracted more than 300,000 visitors in its first three months since opening its doors in September.
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The value of Dundee's tourism industry has soared to a record £187 million and increased by nearly £16 million in the space of 12 months, according to new figures.

The 8.7 per cent increase recorded in 2018 was bolstered by the “V&A effect” which has had huge spin-offs for the city since it the attraction opened in September.

Council chiefs said new research had shown that the city had matched targets set in a tourism strategy four years ago to boost the industry’s value to £185 million by 2020.

The tourism industry, which is worth 22 per cent more than in 2015, is now estimated to support the equivalent of 3033 full-time jobs - up 8.6 per cent on the previous year and almost a fifth since 2010.

Dundee was regularly cited as one of the world’s must-see destinations in the run-up to the unveiling of the iconic new building, designed by Japanese architect Kengo Kuma.

The £80 million museum, which was in the planning for more than a decade, attracted more than 300,000 visitors in its first three months of operation and had met its official half a million target for its first full year by the end of March.

Nearly 100,000 people attended the attraction’s opening exhibition, a celebration of the world’s greatest ocean liners.

Last month it emerged that V&A Dundee was in the running to be named the UK’s “Museum of the Year” after it was shortlisted for the prestigious £100,000 Art Fund prize.

The “V&A effect” has helped boost visitor numbers last year at attractions like Discovery Point and the Verdant Work by 42 per cent and 21 per cent respectively.

Lynne Short, the council’s economy convener, said: “Targets are set to be met and broken and having done so two years ahead of time is a great achievement.

"It is a testament to the way Dundee has been put firmly on the tourism map and I’m convinced there’s more to come.

"We’re a 365-days-a-year city. Our attractions and venues are open for business all year and there is always something for visitors to see and do.”

V&A Dundee director Philip Long said: “These new figures are really very impressive and highlight that a growing number of people are realising what a wonderful city and region this is to visit.

"Like other attractions, everyone at V&A Dundee is working hard to ensure visitors get the most out of their trip to Dundee and Tayside and are encouraged to return time and time again.”