SCOTLAND has beaten Las Vegas and New Zealand in the running to become the number one cinema destination in the world.
Readers of American Newspaper USA Today and travel website 10best chose the country as the Best Cinematic Destination for the silver screen.
The Highlands played an important role in the decision, with familiar sights such as Eilean Donan castle swaying viewers’ opinions.
The castle has appeared in a number of films, including cult science fiction movie Highlander, where it was the location for the home of the Clan MacLeod.
The site was more recently used as the headquarters of MI6 in one of Pierce Brosnan’s outings as James Bond in The World Is Not Enough.
In addition, fans of the Harry Potter film series also had a part to play in the winning vote – the 21-arched Glenfinnan viaduct along the West Highland Line was used for scenes featuring the Hogwarts Express.
The Wallace Monument in Stirling and Rosslyn Chapel in Edinburgh – which played a prominent role in blockbuster The Da Vinci Code – are some of the other destinations mentioned by the newspaper.
A panel of experts picked the initial 20 nominees, and the top 10 winners were determined by popular vote.
The runner-up film destination was Petra in Jordan, which became famous after the 1989 release of the Harrison Ford classic Indiana Jones and the Holy Grail.
New Zealand placed third, Salzburg in Austria was fourth and Dyersville in Iowa came in fifth.
The award will be welcome news for tourism bosses, who hope to attract film fans from across the globe to the country, spurred on by the recent success of hit TV programme Outlander.
The fantasy series uses a variety of locations across the country, including several high-profile sites in the Highlands such as Culloden Battlefield and the Clava Cairns.
VisitScotland research has shown that 40% of tourists who travel to the UK are inspired to visit after seeing the country portrayed in movies or on television.
The top ten winners of the Best Cinematic Destination:
2. Petra, Jordan
3. New Zealand
4. Salzburg, Austria
5. Dyersville, Iowa
7. Dubrovnik, Croatia
8. Bruges, Belgium
9. Santa Barbara Wine Country
10. Las Vegas