American visitors are flocking to Scotland as companies running Outlander tours report massive increases in visitors from the US.
The tourism surge comes with the hit show set to be premiered in the UK with a special joint-screening of the first episode in Glasgow and London today (Monday 23 March).
VisitScotland’s dedicated Outlander section of its website has been viewed more than 175,000 times since it went live in August last year.
Those wanting to get the first hand ‘Outlander’ experience are downloading the site locations map and itineraries in preparation for trips to Scotland.
Meanwhile a number of companies have revealed they are already being inundated with people who want to tour the sites featured in the TV series.
The series is based on the cult historical novels by American writer Diana Gabaldon.
It has been a huge hit in America but UK fans have had to wait until this week to see it.
“The television series has made a huge difference to visitor numbers,” said Alastair Cunningham, owner of Scottish Clans and Castles which been running Outlander tours based on the books since 2006.
“Their interest in Scotland comes from the books or the television series, but when they get here and see places like Culloden and Skye for themselves, they find that the country exceeds their expectations.”
Yvonne Wagoun from Rabbie’s Trail Burners, which runs an Outlander themed tour, said : “It was an easy decision to create our very own Outlander-themed tour and our first departure in October last year has had rave reviews.
“It is proving so popular, particularly among the North American market, that we are looking to increase the number of departures next year.”
She added: “Most of the bookings we have to date are from the US and Canada and some from Australia.”
Mike Cantlay, Chairman of VisitScotland, said: “With 40 per cent of visitors to the UK inspired to come here after seeing a location on film or on television, a major TV series being shot on location in Scotland carries huge potential benefits for the tourism industry.”