Thursday, June 30, 2022
NewsHopes for Outlander Effect to aid recovery of Scots tourism industry

Hopes for Outlander Effect to aid recovery of Scots tourism industry

HOPES are high that the imminent return of hit TV series Outlander will boost the recovery of tourism in Scotland.

Scots national tourism body VisitScotland has published new research on the so-called Outlander Effect during the pandemic.

The TV series, based on the books by Diana Gabaldon, is primarily filmed in Scotland and has been a boost to screen tourism in the country since its first broadcast in 2014, particularly from US and Canadian visitors.

The period between the Outlander seasons – nicknamed Droughtlander – ends on Sunday with the premiere of season six on Starz.

Landscape of Scottish valleys and braes - similar to those found in Outlander.
Outlander is primarily filmed in locations across Scotland. Photo by Bjorn Snelders on Unsplash

VisitScotland is sponsoring the airing of the series on the W Network in Canada.

A short clip of its Scotland is Calling global marketing video will be screened directly before and after each episode.

VisitScotland hopes interest in the latest season, combined with the return of international travel, will help support Scotland’s tourism recovery.

New figures have been published by the national tourism organisation, compiled by the Moffat Centre for Travel and Tourism Business Development.

The figures show that despite restrictions and temporary closures during 2020, Outlander-related attractions saw more than 1.7 million visitors.

Visitor numbers at Outlander-related attractions peaked at 3.2 million in 2019, prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.

There was a 64% drop in total visits to all attractions in Scotland between 2019 and 2020, as monitored by the Moffat Centre.

Outlander-related attractions fared slightly better, falling by 45% over the same period, whilst attraction figures for 2021 have yet to be released.

VisitScotland’s main Outlander page ranked first in searches during 2021 for queries related to filming locations and tours or itineraries with just over a half of all visits originating from the UK, USA, and Canada. 

visitscotland.com has incorporated Outlander content since 2014 with spikes in interest with each new season.

Jenni Steele, Film and Creative Industries Manager at VisitScotland, said: “Outlander has had a huge impact on Scottish tourism for many years, especially by visitors from the USA and Canada.

“Despite the devastation to the tourism industry caused by the pandemic, it’s been really encouraging that fans have continued to be drawn to Scotland and our many historic and cultural attractions.

“With season six on our screens and international travel routes returning, we hope this inspires UK, US and Canadian viewers to plan a trip to the home of Outlander.”

Outlander follows the adventures of World War II time-travelling nurse Claire Randall and her relationship with 18th century Highlander Jamie Fraser.

US author of the Outlander book series, Diana Gabaldon, was honoured with a special Scottish Thistle Award in 2019 from VisitScotland for International Contribution to Scottish Tourism due to the phenomenal impact of her books and subsequent TV series.

Related Stories