Thursday 14 November 2019

Tourism chiefs eye Outlander effect

Caitriona Balfe stars in Outlander (AP)
Caitriona Balfe stars in Outlander (AP)

Fans of the major new TV series hoped to be Scotland's answer to Game Of Thrones are already beating a path north of the border to see the original locations - before it has even had its UK premiere, it is claimed.

Outlander follows the story of Claire Randall, a married English nurse from 1945 who, while on her honeymoon in Inverness, is mysteriously swept back in time to the 18th-century Scottish Highlands, where she meets a warrior named Jamie.

Based on Diana Gabaldon's best-selling novels, it was filmed across Glasgow, Perthshire, Fife, Edinburgh and West Lothian, and was well received on its US network premiere last year.

The series, also hugely popular in countries like Germany, will have its UK premiere in London on March 23 ahead of its launch three days later on Amazon Prime Instant Video.

Fife Council said hotels and tourism services in the area are gearing up to make the most of the "Outlander effect" in the same way that fantasy series Games Of Thrones brought a surge of tourists to Northern Ireland.

In Dunfermline, local tourist association members have set up an Outlander group with support from FifeScreen and VisitScotland.

The show has already proved such a hit in other countries that fans are now travelling to Fife to see the original locations, the local authority said.

Fife locations used in filming for the series included Culross, Falkland and Aberdour.

Chair of the Fife Tourism Partnership Alistair Bruce said: "Tourism businesses and visitor attractions value the benefit of working together and Outlander presents a new and exciting opportunity, with tour, hotel and restaurant bookings already growing in 2015. Since the launch of our Outlander Facebook and Twitter pages, interest has been fantastic."

FifeScreen manager Julie Craik said: "It's so fantastic that Outlander found the locations they were looking for in Fife and it's been great having the opportunity to help the production team. Showrunner Ronald D Moore did a special session at the Edinburgh International TV Festival last year and I am delighted that he sang the praises of working in the region and Scotland.

"Fife is especially attractive for its unique coastal and historic locations and this gave the area huge appeal for the production."

Fife Council's depute leader Lesley Laird added: "The popularity behind this Outlander series is phenomenal and it's so exciting that Fife will be showcased to a worldwide audience."

PA Media

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