Diageo distillery visitor centres hit record high

Scotch Whisky Attractions Help Drive Scottish Tourism


Scotch whisky tourism is in good spirits at the turn of 2018, as latest figures reveal a record year of visitors to Diageo distilleries across Scotland, according to new figures released today.

Over the past 12 months (January 2017 – December 2017), the number of tourists visiting Diageo’s 12 distillery visitor centres across Scotland reached a record high of 440,260 – an increase of 15.2% on the previous year and the highest figure reported to date as whisky distilleries become a spirited addition to many a bucket list.

Over the last five years, the attractions have recorded a remarkable 96.3% growth in visitor numbers across the country, fuelled by international visitors to Scotland and the increasing rise of staycations.

Blair Athol Distillery in Pitlochry, the iconic ‘home’ of the Bells’ Scotch whisky brand, was Diageo’s busiest distillery visitor centre drawing in 86,019 people over the 12 month period. This rise in visitors, up 23% from the previous year, is in part due to the launch of the site’s innovative mash tun whisky tasting bar which was officially opened by Malcolm Roughead, Chief Executive of VisitScotland, in July.

“As the country’s lead export, Scotch whisky is one of the biggest magnets for tourism and we’re continuing to grow visitor numbers from around the world. We’re also continually working to ensure those visitors have the best experience at our distilleries. They always enjoy meeting the makers, then tasting and learning more about our outstanding Single Malts and Blended Scotch Whiskies. We look forward to welcoming even more visitors to our distilleries throughout the year, and especially so for International Scotch Day.”

Ewan Andrew

Head of International Supply

Visit Diageo's distilleries

To celebrate the second International Scotch Day (8th February), the distillery visitor centres will open their doors for free standard tours on Thursday 8th, Saturday 10th and Sunday 11th February, welcoming visitors from home and abroad to experience the sites and explore behind the scenes of some of the world’s favourite whiskies*.

The participating Visitor Centres are at Blair Athol, Caol Ila, Cardhu, Clynelish, Dalwhinnie, Glenkinchie, Glen Ord, Lagavulin, Oban, Royal Lochnagar and Talisker. The Cragganmore Distillery Visitor Centre is currently closed until March 2018. Free tour entry is subject to availability and to Diageo’s standard terms and conditions for Distillery Visitor Centre tours. To book a tour please visit:

*The Distillery reserves the right to make changes to scheduled tours, opening times or events, and on occasion, to cancel confirmed bookings for any reason. If the Distillery has to make a significant change or cancel we will offer you the choice of the following:

(a) accepting the changed arrangements;

(b) choosing an alternative ticket(s) from the Distillery. If the chosen alternative is less expensive than your original ticket, the Distillery will refund the difference. If the chosen alternative is more expensive than your original ticket, you will not be required to pay any money to make up the difference; or

(c) accepting the cancellation in which case you will receive a full refund of all monies you have paid to the Distillery (together, the “Options”).

Note: For any pre-booked tours on the 8th, 10th or 11th as according to our terms and conditions we can offer a free tour upgrade.