Books and TV inspire visitors to Scotland

Picture: TSPL
Picture: TSPL
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Almost a quarter of visitors to Scotland chose the country because they had read a book, or watched a TV programme of film set here, according to a new report from Visit Scotland.

Hit US series and books Outlander were cited as one of the biggest draw factors for visitors, as well as classic Braveheart.

Meanwhile, the Visitor Survey showed that 82 per cent of visitors agree that local people add to the holiday experience. The history and landscape remained the biggest draw for tourists, with almost half citing the scenery as one of the major reasons for travelling to Scotland.

Almost one in ten people said a main factor in planning their trip had been a TV programme about Scotland, while seven 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.

A total of 82 per cent of visitors said they agree that local people add to the holiday experience.

The top five words used to describe people met in Scotland by visitors were, ‘friendly’ a word used by half of respondents and ‘helpful’ which

Others cited the words ‘welcoming’, ‘nice’ and ‘warm’ to descrivbe Scots they had met during their holiday.

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.

He added: “Scotland’s people are its greatest asset, especially in an industry like tourism where - as this survey shows - our warm welcome, and friendly approach, have helped to define and enrich the experiences of thousands of visitors across the length and breadth of the country.”

Malcolm Roughead, 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 draws for visitors, from locals giving directions to tourists in the street to those working in the industry day to day, the people of Scotland play their own vital role in the success story of Scottish tourism.”