The number of people working in tourism in East Ayrshire and South Ayrshire increased by 17% and 9% respectively 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 2,800 jobs in East Ayrshire which is 7% of total jobs and 6,000 jobs in South Ayrshire, which is 13% of total jobs.
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 4 per cent rise in Great Britain as a whole.
The 217,000 members of the Scottish tourism industry represent 9 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.
41% of staff in the tourism industry work in restaurants, 24% in hotels and other accommodation and 17% in bars and related businesses.
SNP MSP Jeane Freeman commented: “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 Carrick, Cumnock and Doon Valley.
“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.
“With Scotland ranked second in the Rough Guides list of the best countries in the world to visit this year, tourism in Carrick, Cumnock and Doon Valley has a very bright future.”
Malcolm Roughead, Chief Executive of VisitScotland, said: “Tourism is more than a holiday experience. It creates jobs and sustains communities in every corner of Scotland all year round and is at the heart of the Scottish economy. These fantastic new figures show that, from hotel owners to waiting staff, tourism really is the driving force for providing the jobs of today and tomorrow.”