After more than 4.2 million Scottish citizens turned out for yesterday's referendum, 55% of those voters opted to remain part of the United Kingdom along with England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Industry experts who expressed concern over the effect independence would have had on Scottish travel undoubtedly breathed a collective sigh of relief this morning. It appears that the 'No' vote coupled with the media exposure the country has had over the recent weeks have contributed to increased bookings overnight.
What a 'No' Vote Means for Scottish Tourism in the Short Term
In the week's leading up to the vote, it appeared as though travelers from England were quick to shun Scotland, as Trivago.co.uk recorded a 29% decrease year-over-year drop in interest from the rest of the UK. But in the wake of this morning's historic decision, an immediate increase in bookings from England to Scotland was reported.
Conversely, travelers from France and Spain, which are nations that have embraced strong independence movements of their own, revealed that a 'yes' decision would have made Scotland a more attractive vacation destination. Despite that revelation, bookings from both countries has also been positive, with numbers from Spain rising 2% and 3.3% from France.
One of the strongest rises in interest comes from United States travelers, with a jump of 4.8% of bookings to Scotland. This overnight bump in bookings indicates that many were waiting on the outcome of the referendum before solidifying their next break in Scotland. That 4.8% increase further proves that the uncertainty over the pound was likely a key element in the majority's decision to forgo breaking free from the 307-year old union with the UK.
How Scotland's 'No' Vote Will Likely Affect Future Trips to the 'Reunited' Kingdom
It's no secret that yesterday's vote had many American travelers rooting for independence, if only to cash in on the weakened value of the pound. A Time.com article explains that the difference between an independent Scotland and a Reunited Kingdom for the average American traveler would have been roughly the equivalent of $755. Meaning that American tourists were forecasted to save approximately $800 on their next trip to Scotland if the country chose to go their own way.
While Americans won't be saving wads of cash on their next vacation, they'll still undoubtedly see a number of other profound changes within the country and the rest of the UK in the coming years. What exactly will those changes be? It's hard to say exactly, but for starters, travelers can expect to see new leadership, as results of the referendum prompted Scottish first minister and leader of the pro-independence Scottish National Party, Alex Salmond, to announce his resignation from both posts.
With increased media exposure and with Gleneagles hosting the Ryder Cup next week, it's safe to say that although the future of travel throughout the UK is still uncertain, Scotland's tourism dollars seem to be going nowhere but up.