Almost a quarter of visitors choose Scotland as a destination because they have read a book, or watched a television programme or film set here, according to a new report from VisitScotland.
Hit US book and television series Outlander was cited as one of the biggest draw factors for visitors, as well as the 1995 film classic, Braveheart.
Meanwhile, the Scotland Visitor Survey 2015 showed that 82 per cent agree that local people add to the holiday experience. The history and landscape remained the biggest draw, with almost half of visitors citing the scenery as one of the major reasons for travelling to Scotland.
Almost one in ten said a main factor in planning their trip had been a TV programme about Scotland, while 7 per cent said they had been influenced by a book or film set in Scotland.
As well as Outlander and Braveheart, other influences included episodes of nature programmes such as Springwatch and Countryfile, which had featured Scotland, as well as the Harry Potter films, James Bond hit Skyfall and Trainspotting.
Readers said the Lewis trilogy by Peter May, as well as Ian Rankin’s novels, had inspired them to visit Scotland.
The top five words visitors used to describe the local people they met were, “friendly” “helpful”, “welcoming”, “nice” and “warm”.
Scottish tourism minister Fergus Ewing said: “The latest survey highlights the huge draw of Scotland’s jaw-dropping scenery, our vibrant culture and rich history, while also confirming the important role that everybody, from those in the industry to passers-by in the street, plays in ensuring all our visitors leave with fond memories, having enjoyed their stay to the utmost.”
Malcolm Roughead, the chief executive of VisitScotland, said: “The world renowned Scottish welcome is as warm as it has ever been and it’s no surprise to see the spirit of Scotland’s people continue to play a leading role in the visitor experience.
“Although our stunning scenery and unique history remain the biggest drawss, from locals giving directions to those working in the industry day to day, the people play their own vital role in the Scottish tourism success story.”