Scottish Attractions Lead the Way in Mystery Visits: A Benchmark for Excellence

Scottish visitor attractions have demonstrated unparalleled excellence in visitor experience, outshining their counterparts across the UK, according to the latest results from the Mystery Visits programme. The results show Scottish attractions have consistently excelled since the initiation of the programme in 2021, consistently surpassing the UK benchmark.

Jon Young, Director of BVA BDRC said:“Scottish attractions have excelled since we started our Mystery Visits programme in 2021, regularly averaging above the UK benchmark. What makes these high scores particularly impressive is that these attractions have achieved top scores in all aspects of a visit. This includes areas where the sector average is low – such as staff proactivity (at arrival and during the visit) and sustainability. In our annual presentation in January (open to all) we will be sharing best practice on precisely what these attractions do so well in these areas.”

The recent ASVA Annual Conference provided a platform for the industry to collectively celebrate the exceptional performance and innovation demonstrated by Scottish visitor attractions. The resonance of key themes throughout the event not only underscores past successes but also sets the stage for a promising future, affirming Scotland’s position in the realm of visitor experiences.

Michael Golding Chief Executive of Association of Scottish Visitor Attractions (ASVA) said:“The recent ASVA Annual Conference was the largest of its kind in the UK. It cast a spotlight on Scottish attractions outstanding commitment to visitor experience, which was evidenced in the UK leading Mystery Visit results. We’re incredibly proud and we are committed to providing ASVA members with ways to continually improve.”

“To support our industry, the conference also provided delegates with ways to exceed visitor expectations, use valuable insights to improve business performance, incorporate responsible tourism practices, and more as we deliver the ASVA vision to support the industry to create incredible memories for visitors from around the world.”

The recently released Mystery Visits report delves into the intricacies of these visits, unveiling the average scores across the 180 encounters, offering a panoramic view at overall, sector, and category levels. This overview serves as a valuable resource for attractions to assess their performance and identify areas for improvement.

Scotland led the nation’s top scorers, showcasing exceptional visitor experiences and serving as benchmark for industry excellence. Mercat Tours scored 100% and Camera Obscura scored 98.7% elevating Scotland’s commitment to unparalleled visitor experiences.

Kat Brogan, Managing Director at Mercat Tours said:“Striving to be the best is a cycle – ask, listen, reflect, act.

“Our team, our visitors and local community have all supported Mercat Tours to thrive since 1985 and quality has been the foundation of our growth.  The VisitScotland Quality Assurance Scheme pushed us to achieve 5 stars in 2006 and, to further excel, we launched our own rigorous QA scheme which celebrates our team and informs training, challenges us to improve and shapes product development.

“Since 2021 Mercat now benchmarks against the premium experiences offered in the UK with the BVA project.  This has elevated our knowledge and learning from across the country and sector which directly benefits for our team and visitors.  Our results have boosted our team who take great pride and passion in their work and steered future plans.”

The remarkable success of Scottish visitor attractions, highlighted by the Mystery Visits programme and echoed at the ASVA Annual Conference, cements Scotland’s potion as a leader in delivering unparalleled visitor experiences. As Scotland continues to set benchmarks for excellence, the future looks promising, driven by a collective dedication to innovation, sustainability, and the continual pursuit of excellence in visitor attractions across the nation.