THE Royal Lochnagar distillery has witnessed another significant rise in visitor numbers over the past 12 months - at a time when the popularity of Scotch whisky tourism continues to grow according to new figures released this week by Diageo.
The distillery – on the edge of the Balmoral Castle estate - welcomed 14,289 visitors in 2012, compared to 11,837 the previous year (an increase of 20.7 per cent).
Diageo’s figures show an overall 14 per cent growth in the number of tourists being welcomed at the company’s 12 distillery visitor centres over the past twelve months. During the last financial year (from June 2011 to July 2012), there were a total of 271,968 visitors – an increase of 33,669 on the previous year.
The figures were announced by Scottish Government Tourism Minister, Fergus Ewing , who also revealed that visitor numbers to the Diageo distilleries had increased by 54 per cent since 2008, showing the consistent growth in popularity of whisky tourism.
Mr Ewing said: “Whisky is recognised internationally as Scotland’s national drink and one of our finest exports.
“I am confident that as we see new markets being opened up to our national drink we will also see a further increase in visitors from those areas, strengthening local economies in the process.”
Royal Lochnagar Distillery Visitor Centre manager, Stewart Adamson, was delighted with the long-term consistent growth and interest at the distillery and congratulated his team on delivering a top quality tourist experience to visitors.
He said: “After a slight dip in 2011, we have had a terrific spell over the past twelve months and that is a real testament to the world-wide reputation of the Royal Lochnagar brand and the way in which everyone involved at the visitor centre is focused on ensuring that the experience we offer tourists lives up to the superb quality of the whisky we produce at the distillery.”
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