The BBC have reported that tourism is booming in Scotland , not least because of the Outlander effect. But is that , as they claim , really a double edged sword ? I am quite surprised to see the BBC publishing this article based on rather flimsy evidence . Is this their attempt to emulate the Daily Mail , which publishes hundreds of articles a day on anything and everything ?
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Doune Castle, near Stirling, has benefitted the most as visitor numbers have risen by 200%.
Wear and tear on footpaths and even items being taken as souvenirs are among the problems reported .
Outlander, screened on Amazon Prime in the UK, follows the adventures of time-travelling World War Two nurse Claire, played by Caitriona Balfe, and Sam Heughan’s 18th Century Jacobite Highlander Jamie Fraser.
Outlander season five is released today, 17 February ,in the UK with Scottish locations standing in for places in 18th Century North America.
All of the filming for the first four seasons was done at locations across Scotland .
Since filming was first done at Doune Castle in 2013, visitor numbers have risen from 38,000 a year to 142,000.
Visits to Blackness Castle at Linlithgow, another of the locations, have increased from 15,000 to 58,000.
Researchers at Glasgow Caledonian University have studied the Outlander effect on 25 of the shows locations across Scotland and seen a 45% rise in visitors to the sites over four years, “well in excess” of increases experienced at other Scottish attractions.
Even Outlander’s theme song, The Skye Boat Song, has had an impact on tourism.
Prof John Lennon, of Glasgow Caledonian University, said “We had a researcher looking at this in the context of Skye where she found almost half the visitors she interviewed were there because of the Outlander title sequence.
“They were then asking ‘where are the stones?’, and the stones in the title sequence are actually on Lewis – the Calanais Stones.”
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