Feb 24 2010 By Fraser Wilson
Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum
KELVINGROVE Art Gallery and Museum held onto it's position as Scotland's most popular tourist attraction last year - despite a drop in visitors.
The west end landmark saw a massive 1,368,096 people passing through the doors - almost 200,000 more than its closest rival Edinburgh Castle, which topped the table of paid-for visitor attractions with 1,196,481.
However, Kelvingrove also had the biggest fall in numbers, with a decrease of 5.3 per cent on the previous year.
The biggest rise in numbers was for the small Glasgow Museums Resource Centre, which had 6497 visitors in 2009, a 32.5 per cent increase.
Robin Broke, director of the Association of Leading Visitor Attractions, said: "Looking at the overall numbers, I think Scotland's attractions have adapted very well to the current financial climate.
"You have to bear in mind that the top attractions in Britain, such as the British Museum, are free.
"But popular places in Scotland, such as Edinburgh Castle - which had a very good year - charge an entrance fee."
The figures were released by the Association of Leading Visitor Attractions.
It comes as VisitScotland, the country's national tourism organisation, launches a £1.25 million marketing campaign to attract visitors from Europe.
The campaign is fronted by photographs of 14 Scots representing themes such as wildlife, island hopping, food and drink, fashion, music, gardens and golf.
The images range from a barman and a B&B owner to a Duke and Duchess, a chef, a Loch Ness expert and a wildlife guide.
They will feature heavily on the campaign's European websites and promotional material, which aims to target potential visitors in Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Sweden, Belgium and the Netherlands.
The websites are translated into the seven languages of those countries.