Whisky Tourism Soars
Even though the company name Diageo might not ring any bells, this London based company’s products are most certainly known worldwide. It is a company that specializes in alcoholic beverages, and their product range includes Baileys, Jose Cuervo, Johnnie Walker, Guinness and Smirnoff. It also owns shares in Moet Hennessy, adding Veuve Clicquot, Hennessy and Moet & Charndon to its impressive list. In Scotland, Diageo owns and operates twenty-eight distilleries that produce malt whisky, and they have also established twelve visitor centres that have increased tourism dramatically.
It seems that whisky tourism is beginning to increase, with the Diageo visitor centres becoming busier every year. Statistics have shown that visitor numbers have increased by at least twenty percent. In the year 2009 the centres had 194 505 visitors, while 2010 boomed with 210 432 visitors. The Talisker distillery visitor centre, which is located on the Isle of Skye, is the most popular centre, with more than fifty thousand visitors during 2010. General Manager of the visitor centres, Steve Blake, commented that each centre offers the highest quality Scotch whisky, and that the product itself was becoming one of the biggest export markets in Scotland. Not only are the products being exported of a very high quality but it is assisting in promoting Scotland as a tourism destination, and visitors from all over the world have been flocking to the visitor centres to learn more about their favourite beverage.
The leading markets and countries from which visitors come to explore Scotland were narrowed down to the United States of America, Germany, Spain, France, China, Russia, Brazil and India, but visitors from various other countries have also been taking advantage of visiting the visitor centres. Whisky tourism is most definitely increasing rapidly as an industry, and while promoting a home grown product, Scotland is also able to show off its beauty, uniqueness and magical attractions. Mike Cantley, representing Scotland, said that the growing whisky tourism industry is a welcomed attraction in Scotland, as it combines quality products with quality attractions, which are both vital in ensuring that visitors have an unforgettable experience and vacation in Scotland.