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Inverness set to welcome surge of visitors in 2017

Inverness is eighth top destination for European travellers - 80% increase in demand

The National newspaper has just published this brilliant article:

Inverness is set to welcome a surge of visitors next year, new figures show.

The Scottish city was named eighth on a list of the top destinations for European travellers in 2017, based on growth in forward bookings compared with last year.

Travel firm eDreams Odigeo, the parent company of eDreams and Opodo, has recorded an 80% increase in demand for Inverness.

Its European Traveller Insights Report revealed that Inverness, often regarded as the capital of the Highlands, is set for a larger tourism boost than locations such as Fez, Morocco (75%) and Hanoi, Vietnam (67%).

The company believes this demand could be fuelled by the fall in the value of sterling following the EU referendum, and British Airways reinstating its daily Heathrow-Inverness flights in May for the first time in nearly 20 years.

Turin in northern Italy came top of the list with a 316% rise in bookings for next year, followed by Astana, Kazakhstan (176%), Rotterdam, the Netherlands (174%) and Havana, Cuba (134%).

Dana Dunne, chief executive of eDreams Odigeo, said: "Increased accessibility has offered a boost to many destinations.

"Turin has seen an increase in flight routes across Europe which may well have contributed to its significant rise in bookings, while the recent lift in US travel restrictions to Cuba seems to have had a knock-on effect, also attracting visitors from across the rest of the world.

"Furthermore, it's particularly interesting to see Inverness make the top ten for 2017, with European travellers perhaps drawn to explore new UK destinations following the fall of the pound."

:: Here are the top 15 destinations for European travellers in 2017 based on increases in bookings, according to eDreams Odigeo:

  1. Turin, Italy (316%)
  2. Astana, Kazakhstan (176%)
  3. Rotterdam, the Netherlands (174%)
  4. Havana, Cuba (134%)
  5. Jeddah, Saudi Arabia (98%)
  6. Medina, Saudi Arabia (93%)
  7. Mumbai, India (91%)

=8. Inverness, Scotland (80%)

=8. Stuttgart, Germany (80%)

10. Fez, Morocco (75%)

11.Bologna, Italy (71%)

12. Montego Bay, Jamaica (69%)

13. Punta Cana, Dominican Republic (68%)

=14. Hanoi, Vietnam (67%)

=14. Guangzhou, China (67%)