GLASGOW

Glasgow, Scotland’s largest city, is a vibrant and welcoming destination that is known for its rich history, diverse culture, and stunning architecture. Over the past several years, the city has experienced significant growth in tourism.

How many tourists visit Glasgow each year?

  • Before the pandemic, between 2017 to 2019, Glasgow welcomed an average of 2.5 million international and domestic tourists annually, contributing £715 million to the city’s economy per year.1
  • The peak of this period was in 2019, when Glasgow and its surrounding Clyde Valley area received 3.1 million overnight visits and 29.7 million day visits.2
  • However, the pandemic made for a stark contrast, with international visitors dropping to 116,000 in 2021. Despite this downturn, Glasgow showed remarkable resilience, rebounding to welcome over 618,000 international tourists in 2022.3

2022

How many tourists visited Glasgow in 2022?

Over 618,000 international visitors travelled to Glasgow in 20223

  • International visitors were up 81.23% compared to the 116,000 visits from 2021, but still down 19.84% from 2019.
  • International tourists spent an estimate of 6.65 million nights in Glasgow in 2022, an increase of 74.25% from 2021. 

How much did tourists spend in Glasgow in 2022?

International visitors spent over £440 million during trips to Glasgow in 20223.

  • International visitor spending was up 75.17% compared to the £100 million spent in 2021.
  • Compared to 2021, international tourist spending decreased by 33.7% in 2022, with an average spending of £705 per visit. Despite the downturn, this number is still a 42.42% increase from 2019.

What were the main reasons for visiting Glasgow in 2022? 

  • Holidays were the primary reason tourists visited Glasgow in 2022, with a total of 277,000 visits4, accounting for 44.82% of all visits. 
  • The second most common reason was Visiting Friends and Relatives, with 197,000 visits accounting for  31.88%.4 
  • Business trips followed with 92,000 visits (14.89%).4
  • Visits for study purposes accounted for 2.10% of total visits (13,000 visits).4
  • Additionally, miscellaneous reasons for visits (40,000 visits or 6.47% of total visits) included attending sporting events, shopping, health-related reasons, religious purposes, and others.4

2021

How many tourists visited Glasgow in 2021?

Glasgow welcomed 116,000 international visitors in 20213.

  • International visitors to Glasgow decreased by 84.95% compared to 2019 (pre-pandemic).
  • Over 1.71 million overnight stays by international visitors were recorded in 2021. This number is a  63.35% decrease compared to 2019.

How much did tourists spend in Glasgow in 2021?

International visitors spent over £108 million in direct expenditure when visiting Glasgow in 2021.3

  • This was a 71.65% decrease from 2019.
  • The average international visitor to Glasgow spent a total of £936 per visit in 2021, an increase of 89.09% compared to the average £495 spent per visit in 2019.

What were the main reasons for visiting Glasgow in 2021? 

  • Visiting Friends and Relatives was the main reason for visiting Glasgow in 2021, contributing to 55,000 visits, or 47.41% of total visits in 2021.4
  • Business Reasons followed, amounting to 36,000 visits4 (31.03% of total visits). 
  • Holidays ranked third, with 17,000 visits4, accounting for 14.66% of overall visits to Glasgow.
  • Study-related visits accounted for 2.59% of total visits to Glasgow (3,000 visits)4.
  • In addition to these, miscellaneous reasons for visits amounted to 4.31% of total visits4 and included attending sporting events, shopping, health-related reasons, religious purposes, and others.

2020

The IPS was suspended due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Therefore, there is no data available for Glasgow tourism between April – December of 2020.

2019

How many tourists visited Glasgow in 2019?

771,000 tourists visited Glasgow during 2019.3

  • In 2019, international visitors spent a total of 4.67 million nights in Glasgow, with an average stay of 6 nights.

How much did tourists spend in Glasgow in 2019?

Glasgow’s international visitors spent over £381 million in direct expenditure in 20193.

  • The average international visitor to Glasgow spent a total of £495 during their visit in 2019, an average of £81 per day.

What were the main reasons for visits to Glasgow in 2019? 

  • Holidays were the primary reason for tourists to visit Glasgow in 2019, accounting for  404,000 visits4, or 52.40% of all visits.
  • Visiting Friends and Relatives was the second most common reason, with 238,000 visits (30.87%)4
  • Business reasons followed with 99,000 visits (12.84% of total visits)4
  • Study purposes amounted to 0.91% of total visits to Glasgow in 2019 (7,000 visits)4.
  • Other miscellaneous reasons included attending sporting events, shopping, health-related reasons and religious purposes, contributing to 23,000 visits4 and making up 2.98% of total visits to Glasgow in 2019.

How popular is Glasgow as a tourist destination?

  • In 2022, Glasgow ranked as the 6th most popular destination in the UK for international visitors.
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How much did Glasgow earn from tourism in 2022?

  • Glasgow was the 4th highest earner among UK’s tourism destinations in 2022, with £435 million generated from international visitors.
  • In terms of spending per international visitor, Glasgow ranked 10th with an average spend of £705.
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uk-inbound-visitors-2022-top-destinations-average-spend-per-visit

How long do international tourists spend visiting Glasgow?

  • 2022: International visitors stayed for an average of 11 nights in Glasgow
  • 2021: International visitors stayed for an average of 15 nights in Glasgow
  • 2019: International visitors stayed for an average of 6 nights in Glasgow
uk-inbound-visitors-2022-top-destinations-average-nights-spent

References

  1. GTVP: Volume and Value of Domestic and International Tourism ↩︎
  2. VisitScotland: Tourism in Glasgow & the Clyde Valley ↩︎
  3. ONS: Inbound and Outbound Tourism, UK ↩︎
  4. VisitBritain: Inbound visits and spend: trends by UK town ↩︎