Starz original series, Outlander, has gained a substantial percentage of American followers since it first aired in August 2014. This could not have brought better news for Scotland. The relatively new TV series sensation has brought more Scottish castle tourism to Scotland ever since its premiere. A good number of American fans of Outlander began to flock to the country just to check out Doune Castle, which is where the Outlander novels, written by Diane Gabaldon, as well as the television series, is set.
According to Outlander actress Caitriona Balfe, who plays the role of Claire Randall, the time-traveling, historical drama offers viewers a beautifully told love story combined with a little bit of fantasy. It takes place at the fictional Castle Leoch, the seat of Clan MacKenzie, but officially referred to as Doune Castle, near Stirling. The castle has also made appearances in films like The Holy Grail, Monty Python and the very popular HBO series Game of Thrones.
Historic Scotland figures have revealed that the year-on-year number of castle visitors has grown 30.2 percent to 49,553 from 2014 to 2015. This growth in tourism has been given the title of the Outlander Effect. Reports have been made that tourist attractions spanning from the historic city of Inverness to a Scotland market town called Dumfries, have definitely noticed the difference of visitor foot-traffic passing through.
The TV series is broadcast in the United States, Canada and Australia, all of which share some type of history with the country. The people of Scotland say that Outlander has been a wonderful way to introduce fans of the show to the place they call their home. Scotland residents are happy about Outlander bringing more tourism to Scotland and they are hoping that as the viewers in Germany and the UK begin to enjoy the show, they too will come visit their country and experience Scotland first hand.
According to Mike Cantlay, the chairman of the national tourism agency, VisitScotland, North America’s Outlander fan base is extraordinarily large and the show’s fusion of Scotland’s breathtaking scenery along with its history and its romance, has left viewers with no choice but to be completely enthralled with Scotland. Cantlay stated that it is the land that gave Outlander inspiration and their location’s map has proved to be quite a smash hit with the tourists. Many of them go to all the locations that made an appearance in the series, Doune Castle being the most popular location visited.
Due to the show’s popularity, Scotland has been constructing more businesses strictly geared towards tourism. More visitor accommodations are being provided, while tourist attractions are finding different kinds of ways to capitalize on the TV series.
According to Scottish politician and Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Fiona Hyslop, Outlander has been the largest overseas investment that has ever existed in their creative industries and it is important for them to build and expand on it. Even though Scotland has starred in other successful on-screen productions, such as The Railway Man and World War Z, Outlander has been the show to really increase the country’s tourism in a way that was very unexpected.
During Scotland Week, Hyslop will be advocating for the Scottish film industry as well as promoting Scotland as one of the most ideal places for people to conduct business. Now that the popularity and fan base of the Starz original series Outlander has grown significantly in America, it has brought more tourism to Scotland. Visitors can finally get to experience the country’s enchanting cities, which are full of history, talented professionals and artists as well as the amazing, unforgettable landscapes.
Opinion By Kameron Hadley
Photo By glynniqua- Creativecommons Flickr License