Record numbers of tourists visited Moray last year to deliver a massive economic boost.
Figures released by Moray Speyside Tourism have revealed that 806,000 people visited the region during 2017 – an increase of about 56,000.
The rise brought with it a boost for local firms as the economic impact of the industry rose to £128.8million – an increase of about £11million.
The popularity of TV series Outlander has been credited with bringing overseas tourists to Scotland with whisky and the coastline proving to be Moray’s biggest draws.
Laurie Piper, operations manager for Moray Speyside Tourism, believes the area has proved popular because it does not suffer from the same “over-tourism” as other parts of the country.
He said: “We are seeing an increase in visitors from areas where whisky sales are rising, but we’re also experiencing the positive impact of our ongoing campaigns in key international markets.
“We may be famous as Malt Whisky Country, but we have shown that we have so much more to offer and we’re now seeing the benefit of our work to showcase this diversity.”
Jobs supported by the tourism industry across the area are now nearing 3,000 as visitors spend almost 1.9million nights a year in the region enjoying the sights.
James Johnston, chairman of the Malt Whisky Trail, believes there is still room to increase the numbers further.
He said: “There is a booming interest in whisky worldwide and many distilleries on the trail are investing in new visitor experiences, so that they can give the rising numbers of tourists an unforgettable experience.
“There is plenty to do for both whisky lovers and those who want to see an unspoilt corner of Scotland, which encourages more visitors and longer stays.”