Tourism boost across Midlothian

The arrival of Borders Rail is expected to boost tourism figures further
The arrival of Borders Rail is expected to boost tourism figures further

The number of people working in tourism in Midlothian increased by 12 per cent in one year, new figures show – with Scotland as a whole seeing an increase of 11 per cent.

The statistics produced by Visit Scotland show that tourism supports 1,900 jobs in Midlothian, six per cent of total jobs in the area.

Between 2014 and 2015, the number of people employed in the sector across Scotland grew to 217,000 – with the 11 per cent increase in Scotland above the four per cent rise in Great Britain as a whole.

The 217,000 members of the Scottish tourism industry represent nine per cent of the country’s total employment and is the highest tourism level since Business Register and Employment Survey (BRES) records began in 2009.

Forty-one per cent of staff in the tourism industry work in restaurants, 24 per cent in hotels and other accommodation and 17 per cent in bars and related businesses.

Midlothian North MSP Colin Beattie said: “Our tourism industry is going from strength to strength and this increase in jobs shows the vital role that tourism plays in Scotland’s economy and particularly in Midlothian.

“Scotland is famed for its warm welcome, incredible scenery and top class attractions – and with 2017 the Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology we are celebrating our exceptional historical attractions.”

Midlothian South MSP Christine Grahame added: “These figures predate the opening of the Borders Railway, and I believe we’ll continue to see a marked increase in tourism employment as more visitors use it to explore all that Midlothian has to offer.

“With Scotland ranked second in the Rough Guides list of the best countries in the world to visit this year, we must make sure Midlothian continues to capitalise on all we have to offer visitors.”