Diageo bets big on Scotch whisky tourism with £150m investment in distillery experiences

Drinks giant Diageo is seeking to raise its profile among visitors to Scotland with a commitment to invest £150m over three years in a network of brand experiences at its distilleries.

The nationwide program will be spearheaded by a flagship Johnnie Walker branded ‘immersive experience’ in Edinburgh which aims to lure throngs of tourists through its doors by bringing the story of whisky production to life.

This will be augmented by improvements to 12 existing distillery visitor centres with the aim of encouraging greater numbers of travellers to strike out from the city and explore Scotland’s whisky trail of remote distilleries.

Diageo chief executive, Ivan Menezes, said: “Scotch is at the heart of Diageo, and this new investment reinforces our ongoing commitment to growing our Scotch whisky brands and supporting Scotland’s tourism industry. For decades to come our distilleries will play a big role in attracting more international visitors to Scotland. I am also delighted we will be able to bring our knowledge and expertise to help the next generation, through mentor programmes and skills training.”

Diageo intends to partner with VisitScotland to promote both Scotch and Scotland to its customers around the world.

Last month Johnnie Walker temporarily rebranded as Jane Walker to broaden its appeal beyond women, courting mixed response.

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