Diageo today announced that it will transform Scotland’s whisky tourism trade through a £150m programme of investment.
The centre piece of Diageo’s programme is a “state-of-the-art Johnnie Walker immersive visitor experience” in Edinburgh, although the cash will also upgrade the company’s network of 12 distillery visitor centres.
These include four distilleries which are linked directly to the Johnnie Walker venue in Edinburgh, which together create a “unique whisky tour of Scotland” which encourages tourists to explore rural areas outside the Scottish capital.
Diageo’s investment follows the company creating a similar experience for another one of its brands, when it built the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin, which is now Ireland’s most popular paid attraction for visitors.
Chief executive of Diageo Ivan Menezes, said: “Scotch is at the heart of Diageo, and this new investment reinforces our ongoing commitment to growing our Scotch whisky brands and supporting Scotland’s tourism industry.
“For decades to come, our distilleries will play a big role in attracting more international visitors to Scotland.”
First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon added the investment underlined the importance of the whisky sector to Scotland’s economy.
Cristina Diezhandino, Diageo global scotch whisky director commented:
Scotch is the world’s favourite whisky and Scotland is the greatest distilling nation on earth.
New generations of consumers around the world are falling in love with Scotch and they want to experience it in the place where it is made and meet the people who make it. This investment will ensure that the people we attract to Scotland from around the world go home as life-long ambassadors for Scotch and for Scotland.