VisitScotland reveals tourism spin-off from Still Game

The antics of Jack and Victor have generated a tourism spin-off for Scotland.
The antics of Jack and Victor have generated a tourism spin-off for Scotland.
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Smash hit comedy Still Game is helping to fuel a booming Scottish tourism spin-off from films and TV shows.

VisitScotland has revealed that the hugely popular sitcom, set in a Glasgow housing estate, has been regularly cited by visitors as an inspiration for their trip.

New research has revealed it is being mentioned alongside Outlander, Braveheart, Highlander and Monarch of the Glen by tourists asked to explain why they chose to holiday in Scotland.

A poll of 12,000 visitors found that culture and history were now inspiring around a third of visits to Scotland - the second biggest factory after the country'a scenery and landscape.

And almost 1.5 million tourists are now believed to be flocking to Scotland each after watching a film or TV show, according to the research.

Scotland's starring role in recent blockbusters like Macbeth, Harry Potter, The BFG and Skyfall has also powered the boom in "set-jetting."

And a further boost is expected next year with the much-anticipated release of Avengers: Infinity War, which is currently filming in Edinburgh.

Still Game, which is filmed in a BBC studio in Dumbarton and on location around Glasgow, is broadcast across the UK network and has a growing overseas fanbase after being made available on Netflix.

Still Game returned to the nation's screens in the autumn of 2016 after its creators and stars Ford Kiernan and Greg Hemphill struck a deal with the BBC to bring a nine-year hiatus to an end.

Other TV shows cited by visitors in the VisitScotland research include the BAFTA Scotland-winning crime drama Shetland, which stars Douglas Henshall as the detective Jimmy Perez, who was created by author Ann Cleeves for her series of novels.

Scotland's screen industry is expected to receive a huge boost in the wake of the Scottish Government's recent decision to approve the country's first green belt studio on the outskirts of Edinburgh.

Jenni Steele, film and cultural tourism manager at VisitScotland, said: "It is no surprise to see that films and television are playing such a huge role in attracting visitors to Scotland.

"From the phenomenal success of Outlander, which taps so evocatively into our history and culture as well as showing off our stunning landscapes, to Still Game, which shows the humour, warmth and spirit of the Scottish people, the sight of Scotland on screen continues to capture the imagination of people from all over the world."

Rosie Ellison, manager of the Film Edinburgh commission, said: There is no doubt that film & TV help to attract culture-curious visitors to featured locations. Preston Mill in East Lothian, which plays the mill at Lallybroch in series one of Outlander, has seen an increase of 26 per cent in visitor numbers since its appearance in the series.

"It's in recognition of this added-value, as well as the direct economic impact from filming, that local authorities and their film offices work to attract and facilitate filming."