SCOTS families are increasingly opting for staycations during public holidays, with bookings at Easter rising 20 per cent, according to new figures.

A survey by the Association of Leading Visitor Attractions shows Scotland outperformed the rest of the UK by attracting 13.9 per cent more visitors to tourist sites, making it a top destination due to its landscapes and heritage.

Letting agency Cottages & Castles say this weekend’s Easter break is one of the most popular holiday periods for families.

READ MORE: Scotland's 20 best family days out for Easter

The firm says it has witnessed a late rush in bookings following the delayed onset of spring after recent snow.

The company says reservations are up by one-fifth over the past five years, while 55 per cent of customers staying at its properties last year were primarily from Scotland, with 40% from the rest of Britain and 5% from overseas.

The top five destinations at Easter over the five-year period were Arran, Ullapool, Applecross, Inverness and Perthshire.

According to figures from VisitScotland, figures for overnight tourism from January to June last year show there were 3.389 million trips, bringing a spend in Scotland of £932 million.

The plummeting pound and rising popularity of the stay-at-home holiday boosted tourism in Scotland last year, with two attractions each welcoming more than two million visitors for the first time as the National Museum of Scotland and Edinburgh Castle broke visitor records.

Sue Bourne, manager of Cottages & Castles, said: “Easter is when many families take their first getaway of the year and our figures have shown Scotland is still very much in favour with staycationers keen to get away without having to endure long flights and transfers.

“We have seen an increase in bookings from the family and group market, with our large houses proving very popular.”

READ MORE: Scotland's 20 best family days out for Easter

Scotland’s two biggest cities, Edinburgh and Glasgow, serve as gateways to the rest of the country as visitors move on from them into the wider regions.

This month, Edinburgh was named as the second best rated destination in the UK and 20th in Europe in TripAdvisor’s annual Travellers’ Choice awards for Destinations. Glasgow was sixth in Britain’s top 10.

Internationally, Paris remains as the world’s top tourist hotspot, with London second and Rome third.