The Outlander effect

OUTLANDER has been cited as helping bring a “phenomenal” boost to tourism in Scotland as new figures show an increase in visits.

Malcolm Roughead, Visitscotland chief executive, said the interest in film and television series locations like Outlander, shot and set in Scotland, has helped the rise in summer visitor numbers last year.

He said: “We knew anecdotally that tourism businesses across Scotland had a good summer in 2017, but it is absolutely phenomenal to see just how much growth there was compared to the same period in 2016 with overseas visits up by 14.6 per cent and domestic visits up by 10 per cent from July to September.

“Such exceptional increases across visits and spend can be attributed to a myriad of different factors which have worked together to create a perfect blend for Scottish tourism.

“Key influences include increased capacity on air routes from countries all across the world, favourable exchange rates and of course the Outlander effect which has had a huge impact with many coming to experience the land that inspired the popular books and TV series.”

The head of the national tourism agency went on: “More than that, we are noticing a real uplift in the staycation market with less people flying out of the UK for the first time in a number of years, meaning many are simply getting out and about exploring their own country.

“This is a real testament to the hard work of our tourism industry which is constantly innovating and investing to ensure visitors receive not only a quality experience, but a memorable one.

Pioneering partnerships have been at the heart of Visitscotland marketing activity including key collaborations with TripAdvisor, booking.com and E4, ensuring we reach more potential visitors globally in new and exciting ways.

Mr Roughead said: “Our focus on digital marketing and unique PR campaigns including an ambitious YouTube influencer campaign has been very successful, with Scotland punching above its weight on a global platform.

“Tourism is the heartbeat of the Scottish economy, causing a ripple effect which touches every industry and community, creating employment and economic growth.

“We will continue to work hard to ensure the sector remains a priority for Scotland for many years to come.”

Overseas figures from Office of National Statistics show 11.6m UK visits and domestic tourism statistics of 3.5m visits from the Great Britain Tourism Survey from July to September last year.

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