Overall visitor numbers to Scotland’s most popular attractions, including two South Ayrshire sites, slumped by almost 34million in 2020, a fall of 63.2 per cent, according to data from the Moffat Centre for Travel and Tourism at Glasgow Caledonian University.

Culzean Castle and Country Park and Robert Burns Birthplace Museum were both included in the Top 10 Paid Admission Attractions in the table put together by the university, with Culzean seeing a massive 61.6 per cent drop in paid admissions from 2019 to 2020, and Robert Burns seeing an even greater reduction of 65.9 per cent in the same period.

Edinburgh Castle - Scotland’s busiest paid-for attraction in 2019 - saw visitor numbers drop by 87.2 per cent with figures for Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum in Glasgow and the National Museum of Scotland falling 85.8% per cent and 79.9 per cent respectively.

Data from the Moffat Centre’s Scottish Visitor Attraction Monitor 2020 shows attractions with large outdoor areas outperformed museums/art galleries and castles.

Edinburgh Zoo was Scotland’s busiest paid-for site last year, attracting 292,631 visitors, a drop of 46.4% on the previous 12 months.

Professor John Lennon, Director of the Moffat Centre at GCU, said: “The impact of COVID-19 was felt across all aspects of the Scottish visitor attractions sector as travel was restricted, the international market collapsed and the wider economy was impacted.

“Attractions are an essential element of the Scottish visitor experience. With international tourism unlikely to return until well into 2022, domestic visitors will provide the sole source of income. ”