By Scott Wright

A FIVE-star visitor attraction in the heart of Edinburgh is to receive a £3 million makeover as it looks to take advantage of the growing popularity of whisky tourism in the Scottish capital.

The Scotch Whisky Experience on the Royal Mile, which celebrates its 35th birthday this year, will officially relaunch in June following a comprehensive refurbishment designed to enhance the visitor experience. Work has already begun on the revamp, which will incorporate technology not yet seen at a UK visitor experience into tours that will be aimed at both whisky afficionados and those who are new to the water of life.

Susan Morrison, chief executive of the Scotch Whisky Experience, said: “We’ll be creating a theatrical and magical experience to tell the story of Scotch whisky production, blended with technologies which we believe have never before been used in a visitor experience. Our team have been nurturing this vision since well before the pandemic, and excitement is building. We can’t tell you more yet, but we promise that what we have in store will be breathtaking and truly unique.”

Ms Morrison said the improvements come at a boom time for whisky tourism in Edinburgh, as people flock to destinations such as the Johnnie Walker Experience and new distilleries such as Holyrood. The Scotch Whisky Experience is close to attracting the same number of visitors that it was before the pandemic, which had forced it to remain closed for eleven and a half months of the two years that followed the initial move into lockdown. The attraction enjoyed a sharp rise in visitor spend in the second half of 2022, which will help fund the refurbishment that was originally costed at £2m before inflation kicked in.

“It was a bit nerve wracking pushing the button on it, but having had a really good second half we are all feeling more confident,” Ms Morrison told The Herald.