Wine tourism is big business around the world but for Scotland it's all about the whisky. The Scotsman has figures from Scotlandwhisky, the national Whisky tourism organization which show that over one million tourists visited distilleries last year and brought in more than £25 million in revenue. The number of tourists went up 12 percent last year. Scotlandwhisky offers a newsletter and a downloadable PDF with a map of Scotland's distilleries as well as information on hotels and guided tours.
In recent years distilleries have taken a cue from the wine tourism industry offering conference facilities, restaurants and bars to make their visitor centers more appealing. Today people are interested not just in tasting whisky but in learning how it is produced. Of course it also doesn't hurt that some distilleries are in beautifully scenic countryside. Also just as in a wine tour of the Napa Valley, the types of experiences differ with both larger more commercial venues and smaller family-owned enterprises showing their wares.