Visitor numbers to Scotland increased over a 12-month period, according to official figures today.
There was a 4per cent rise in the year to June compared to the previous 12 months, the Scottish Government said.
Overseas visitors increased by 7per cent while a tourism survey suggests domestic visitors increased by 3per cent.
Tourism minister Fergus Ewing welcomed the figures, saying that spending had gone up by 14per cent over the same period.
“Tourism is one of Scotland’s key industries and as these figures show it continues to make a major contribution to Scotland’s economy, with more people visiting and spending more in our accommodation visitor attractions and restaurants,” he said.
“We want Scotland to be a destination of first choice for a high quality, value for money and memorable experience, delivered by a skilled and passionate workforce, and the Scottish Government is working with VisitScotland and the industry to achieve this.”
The profile of Scotland was enhanced by interest surrounding the Hollywood film Brave, set in the country, he said.
Efforts have also been made to attract 12 conferences to the country, which tourism agency VisitScotland says could be worth £37 million.
Mike Cantlay, chairman of VisitScotland, said: “These are encouraging figures, particularly in what continues to be a difficult economic climate.
“We appreciate that this has been a tough summer for tourism but, looking ahead, there is much to be optimistic about.
“We have an opportunity to sell Scotland to the world like never before, so let’s work together and seize it with both hands. When the going gets tough, we get tougher and sell harder.
“There is never any room for complacency and our marketing teams are working with the tourism industry and businesses all over the country to make the most of every opportunity.”