Breathtaking landscapes are draw to the Islands for tourists

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Breathtakingly beautiful beaches – including Luskentyre, Seilebost and Tràigh Mhòr – are proving a major draw to the Outer Hebrides, according to VisitScotland’s biggest ever Visitor Survey.

Carried out in the summers of 2015 and 2016, the national tourism organisation’s poll saw 402 visitors to the Outer Hebrides interviewed, with 167 visitors answering specific questions about their visit to the area in a follow-up survey online.

Of those respondents, 83% of people said their top activity was visiting a beach, closely followed by 82% stating that sightseeing by car, coach or on foot was their favourite thing (8% above the national average) while a short walk or stroll was enjoyed by 70% (16 % above national average).

A total of 87% of the respondents cited scenery and landscape as the main draw to the islands, followed by the fact it was a place they had always wanted to visit (59%) and the history and culture (54 %).

Visitors to the Outer Hebrides gave positive ratings of their holiday experience, with 94 per cent giving scores of 7-10 on the satisfaction scale, and two-thirds (67 per cent) gave the highest ratings of nine or ten out of ten.

Holidaymakers also expressed a high likelihood to recommend the region, with 92 per cent scoring it between 7-10 and 67% selecting nine or ten out of ten.

Alan MacKenzie, VisitScotland Islands Manager, said: “With nearly 12,000 visitors all over the country interviewed, this is the biggest Visitor Survey we have ever produced. I am delighted, but not surprised, to see that so many people rate their trips to the Outer Hebrides so highly.

“Finding out what drives people to enjoy a holiday in the region provides the tourism industry with valuable insight into the makeup of our visitors.”